As we get into the core of earnings season, you might want to cross check the results a quarter ago -- along with the year-on-changes -- of the companies you're following. While we've traditionally looked at those year-on-year changes as the primary barometer of a company's performance, amid the global economic mire that we're still stuck in, the former comparison can tell us a lot.
Take oil services operative Weatherford
Looking at Weatherford's performance by region, the company saw its revenues in North America 47% below that of the third quarter of 2008. Perhaps more importantly, operating income generated on our continent was down $280 million from 2008's third quarter. However -- and paying attention to the sequential trend we discussed above -- the quarter's operating income topped those of second quarter by $34 million.
Operations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia slipped 6% year over year, and were about flat with the prior quarter. Latin America, however, produced revenues that were 67% higher than the prior year, and up 13% from the prior quarter. Revenues from Europe, West Africa, and the former Soviet Union were about flat year over year, but 11% higher than the previous quarter.
While Weatherford didn't make mincemeat of the second quarter, as CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner noted during the call, "We are more constructive on the prognosis and five quarters ahead through 2010. Pricing is not deteriorating, whether in North America or in international markets." Nevertheless, the company intends to broaden its international exposure next year.
But we'll have to wait until other oilfield service companies such as Schlumberger