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SunTrust: Strong execution in fleet biz will help WEX beat estimates

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Oscar Turner upgraded WEX Inc. to "buy" from "hold," believing that the company now has a more favorable risk/reward profile.

Strong execution in the fleet business, lower expected fraud losses and higher fuel prices will provide the company with the headwinds to beat analysts' consensus estimates, Turner wrote in an Oct. 17 research note to clients. Continued strength in healthcare will lift organic revenue and EPS growth past expectations, he also said.

Turner expects that software that can detect fraud in real time will cut losses to historic levels.

"Our independent validation of the software boosts our confidence in this view," he said.

Turner increased his price target to $145 from $110. He also raised his third-quarter EPS estimate to $1.41 from $1.38. He changed his fiscal-year EPS estimates to $5.28 from $5.24 for 2017 and to $6.31 from $6.20 for 2018.