I've had a lot to say lately about the deepwater drillers, but today I'd like to turn to the guys that provide the key equipment for deepwater development projects after folks like Transocean (NYSE:RIG) have picked up and moved on. Specifically, what kind of tone are these companies setting in their year-end conference calls?

Let's start with Cameron (NYSE:CAM), a provider of slug catchers, nut shell filters, and other funny-sounding but absolutely essential oil and gas separation and processing equipment. The company's management sees 2010 earnings coming in somewhat below 2009's results of $2.38 per share. Cameron isn't immune to the margin pressure challenging the likes of Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) onshore. The company is feeling the pressure in some shorter-cycle lines of business, but management sees margins hitting a trough in 2010.

On its conference call, management pointed to two risks to the company's outlook: the threat of a "worldwide oversupply of gas," and the "fragile" economy. There are ways that Cameron could surprise to the upside as well. Deepwater projects awards show signs of picking up relative to their fairly slow pace over the past few years. The most high-profile potential award is for Total's (NYSE:TOT) CLOV project, a four-field cluster offshore Angola. At 850,000 barrels per day of anticipated production, this is a huge development.

Turning to competitor FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI), this offshore standout racked up record operating profits in 2009. Per-share earnings came in at $2.87, and they're predicted to be somewhat lower for 2010, to a range of $2.45 to $2.65, representing a decline of 11% at the midpoint.

So far in the first quarter, FMC has picked up two awards from Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) totaling $480 million, a smaller $40 million win with Statoil, and a frame agreement with Cobalt International Energy. That's not a bad start.

While FMC management questioned the sustainability of the rebound in onshore activity, it sounds quite positive about the trends driving its critical subsea business. With such huge, stable customers driving the company's results in the offshore, I would feel pretty comfortable as well.

As far as stock valuations go, these two oil service stocks seem pretty fully valued today, especially given the anticipated earnings pullback. I would wait for the pendulum to swing toward greater pessimism before taking a position in Cameron or FMC.

Petrobras, Statoil, and Total are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his Motley Fool CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.