For the quarter, Weatherford’s bottom line grew 27% higher to $370.6 million, or $0.53 per share, including an after-tax loss. Revenues rose to $2.54 billion, from $1.97 billion in the same quarter of 2007.
It wasn't long ago that Weatherford was being hindered by slowing activity in North America. In the most recent quarter, however, the company's revenues generated here rose 19% on a 13% rig count increase. Further, the growth was achieved despite the disruptive effects of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico region. North America continues to be the company's most active area, generating about 46% of the company’s total revenue.
At the same time, revenues from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia were 40% higher year over year in the quarter, with Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, India, China, and Malaysia leading the way. In Europe, West Africa, and the former Soviet states, revenues grew 33% to $409 million, while the contribution from Latin America was up 47% from the prior year.
The news oiled up Weatherford’s stock price 13% since Friday’s close. But the company’s stellar performance wasn’t the only factor. Investors were also influenced by a special meeting planned for Friday by the OPEC nations. There appears to be a reasonable likelihood that the cartel members will vote at the session to reduce production in order to support crude prices.
Weatherford's circumstances are similar to Halliburton's, including a share price decline of about 65% between mid-summer and last week. In view of the magnitude of that decline, the likely ability of OPEC to place something of a floor under crude prices, the company's growth patterns, expectations for an expansion in global energy demand during the next couple of decades, and Weatherford's forward P/E just above 6.0 times, I'd recommend that Fools consider accumulating shares in the company.
Indeed, I would also watch carefully for what I also believe are the oversold likes of deep-water drillers Transocean
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