How's this, Fools: a company that makes trees (more on that shortly), yet also makes sense as a place to plop some of your investment shekels? I'm talking about Cameron International
Last week, Cameron joined numerous other services companies in posting solid quarterly results. The company earned $152 million, or $0.65 per share, compared to $123.2 million, or $0.54 a share, last year. But perhaps the most important number, since it may presage results in coming quarters, was the record $5.2 billion for Cameron's backlog, up 31% year over year.
Cameron makes a host of drilling systems, flow control equipment, and compressors. Its trees have nothing to do with the woods near your home; instead, they're pieces of equipment resembling large metal saplings that are used in energy flow control. Its wide array of products means Cameron faces rivals on numerous fronts, including Dril-Quip
In the past quarter, Cameron's subsea equipment and drilling products carried the day, as energy prices pushed exploration and production activity higher. Things look so solid going forward that management has slightly raised its guidance for the year. And as the company's income statement grows increasingly solid, there's been a simultaneous -- although perhaps not as noticed -- improvement in the balance sheet. Net debt has been pruned even since March.
Like many of its oilfield services brethren, Cameron appears nicely positioned to benefit from a happy combination of escalating offshore drilling -- much of it international, and most of it in search of oil -- along with increasing attention to onshore unconventional oil and gas plays in North America.
Further Foolishness in the pipeline: