If you have a handbook or are issued policies from time to time, there may be a section or a policy concerning company equipment and privacy. That would give you the answer to your question. Generally speaking your text messages are private, and so long as you protect them from others (i.e. keeping your phone secure) you have a right to keep them private.
My answer, above, was meant to help you understand some of the legal issues presented in your summary of the circumstances. It was meant to provide information only. It was not meant to provide you with legal advice or create an attorney client relationship. You should continue to research your situation and take the opportunity to meet with an attorney.
It depends who owns the phone. That's my opinion if you own it it's your privacy. I see this is same as having the car just because the company pays some of the car expenses doesn't mean that it has a right to inspect and check the car
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