Wex, the Portland-based financial technology company, said its revenues and income fell for the July-September quarter as the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact business.

The pandemic constrained business travel and low fuel prices also hindered revenue growth, Melissa Smith, the company’s chair and chief executive officer, said in an interview Thursday.

Melissa Smith

“There’s a little bit of everything happening” that’s reflected in figures showing revenue dipping 17 percent, from $460 million in the third quarter last year to $382.1 million during the same period this year, Smith said. The company’s adjusted net income was $70.9 million, or $1.59 per share, for the July-September quarter, compared with $113.5 million, or $2.59 per share, for the third quarter of 2019.

Wex stock fell $7.75 a share, or about 5.80 percent, to $126.00 on Thursday.

Smith said revenue and earnings are likely to be flat in the company’s fourth quarter because of seasonal factors, including fewer business days because of holidays, and a slowing of the economic recovery from the coronavirus. She said Wex has “good sales momentum” and its sector providing financial services for corporate vehicle fleets is strong, but business travel remains weak and is down about 75 percent this month compared with last year.

Wex, which has a new headquarters building in downtown Portland, is coping well with the pandemic, she said. Managers at individual locations determine if it’s safe for employees to work at offices, Smith said, and Portland is considered a safe location.

However, there are caps on how many employees can be in the building at one time, she said, and workers have the option of continuing to work at home. Most days, Smith said, there are only 10 people in the building and many workers have said they’d like to have the option to work at least part of the time from home once the pandemic is under control.

“We’ve always been a proponent of flexibility,” she said, and the company will continue to make determinations based on employees’ desires and business needs.

“We’re highly focused on the things we can control,” Smith said.


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