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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Fleetcor Technologies Inc., which provides fuel card and payment products to businesses, rose Thursday after the company reported a stronger second-quarter net income that handily beat Wall Street expectations and raised its outlook for the year.
THE SPARK: The Norcross, Ga.-based company said it earned $54.4 million, or 63 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, as sales got a boost from recent acquisitions. In the year-ago period, the company earned $36.7 million, or 44 cents per share.
Not including one-time items, the company said it earned 73 cents per share. Analysts on average expected a profit of 65 cents per share, according to FactSet.
THE BIG PICTURE: The company cited its strong first half and recent acquisitions in issuing a rosier outlook. Fleetcor said its recent expansion into Brazil, with its acquisition of CTF Technologies, as well of the completion of another acquisition in Russia, are part of its push to move more aggressively into developing markets.
For 2012, the company now expects adjusted net income of $2.74 to $2.78 per share, up from its previous guidance of $2.55 to $2.60 per share, and ahead of the average analyst estimate of $2.58.
THE ANALYSIS: Citi Analyst Philip Stiller noted that the performance was particularly impressive given the challenging economic environment, fuel prices and unfavorable currency exchange rates the company is facing.
He raised his price target to $41, from $39. But he maintained his "Neutral" rating, saying he wants more evidence that the company can sustain its growth.
SHARE ACTION: Fleetcor's stock rose $3.20, or 8.7 percent, at $39.90.