While I wouldn't accuse Nabors Industries
Margins deteriorated sequentially across most segments, save for Canada (which rebounded from a horrific quarter) and international drilling (which is the company's rising star). In just 12 months, the international segment has doubled its contribution to Nabors' drilling-derived operating income, from 15% to 30%. That international exposure tops Helmerich & Payne
The good news is that adjusted operating income lifted sequentially, but last quarter was a very low hurdle to clear. That 2% boost becomes a 22% bust when compared to last year's figures. Even big numbers out of Nabors' E&P business weren't enough to save the firm from a gnarly 44% drop in pre-tax earnings. It also didn't help that the firm got fancy with its cash and lost a bundle on flaky fixed-income investments.
On balance, I feel pretty positive about Nabors' outlook, because the international upside seems to meaningfully outweigh the downside inherent in further stateside erosion. CEO Gene Isenberg stated on the call that he and his family picked up a million and a half shares over the past few months, so I'm not alone in my optimism.
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