Payment-processing technology firm Wex Inc. of South Portland is delaying the release of its 2018 earnings report while it investigates “a discrepancy related to the balance sheet of (its) Brazilian subsidiary,” the company said Friday.

Wex originally had planned to file the earnings report Wednesday. Publicly traded companies are required to file their fourth-quarter and full-year earnings reports by March 1 of the next year, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allows them to extend the date up to March 15 with prior notification.

Wex announced the delay in a statement, noting that “although the review is ongoing, to date we have not identified the periods impacted by this discrepancy, which we currently believe could be up to $70 million.”

The company said it is not withdrawing any of its previously issued financial statements because it does not yet know if the subsidiary’s possible accounting issues have caused them to be incorrect. Wex did not offer any further details about the discrepancy or what may have caused it.

The company issued a preliminary estimate of its 2018 revenue of $1.49 billion, up 19 percent from 2017, but that figure does not include any potential adjustments for the accounting issue.

“Because we do not know with confidence what portion, if any, of this discrepancy arose in 2018, the company is releasing preliminary financial highlights for the full-year 2018 excluding any adjustments related to the review,” it said. “These preliminary amounts may be impacted by the outcome of our review.”

Wex, which offers a variety of payment systems and services to the fleet, travel and health care industries, has about 1,200 employees in South Portland and has been growing rapidly through acquisitions and internal sales growth.

The company recently completed a new headquarters building in downtown Portland that will house roughly 400 Wex employees. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for early March.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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