Early earnings news clearly has unanimity of results in oilfield services. Halliburton
On Tuesday, Weatherford International
Looking at specific geographic results, Weatherford checked in with $891 million in North American revenues. That was a 21% jump from the fourth quarter. Internationally, most regions were down 5% sequentially, except Latin America, which was down a painful 31% from the final quarter of 2009.
If you thought you'd encountered unusually chilly weather during the now (thankfully) departed winter, Weatherford CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner noted on the company's conference call that "Within the weather related category, Russia was very affected as was Asia. Russia's Western Siberia fields experienced prolonged operations shutdowns with temperatures touching minus 40 degrees centigrade. China and Australia were also very weak, also for climatic reasons."
But because investing is mostly about looking forward, it's important to note that Weatherford Chief Financial Officer Andy Becnel is looking for approximately flat earnings in the company's current quarter, characterized by, among other things, slippage in North America -- primarily driven by Canadian seasonality. His assessment for Latin America is for a decline in revenues, but a slight improvement in earnings. And he anticipates a meaningful improvement in the Eastern Hemisphere.
We'll learn more about the global services picture during the last two days of this week when Diamond Offshore
As I passed along to Fools in my article on Halliburton's results, it appears that the picture for oilfield services is brightening, following 18 months of dinginess. The best way to play that change? I'm still a strong believer in Schlumberger and Halliburton.