As earnings season winds down, it continues to appear that the oilfield services contingent deserves attention from Foolish investors. Oh, I know, black gold has backed off a little bit, but with all of Baker Hughes'
Baker Hughes earned $129 million, or $0.41 per share, compared with earnings of $195 million, or $0.63 a year, earlier. The earlier quarter also included restructuring and acquisition-related expenses. Revenue in the most recent quarter was $2.54 billion, a 5% drop from the first quarter of 2009. Analysts who follow the company had expected a per-share figure of $0.38.
As was the case with other big services companies, including Halliburton
As CEO Chad Deaton noted following the release of results, "Q1 was a good quarter for Baker Hughes. We delivered strong results in North America, with the increase in drilling activity and the benefits of a lean organization drove the improvement in our operating margins." As he also pointed out, the company closed on its acquisition of BJ Services last week, pending required asset sales; the two companies will continue to operate separately domestically.
Looking ahead, CFO Peter Ragauss told those on the company's call, "Looking forward to Q2, we believe that operating EPS on a combined basis will be in the low $0.40 range, including the impact of the spring break up in Canada, Gulf of Mexico issues, and the dilutive impact of a higher share count." We all know the Gulf issues that he was referring to. Hopefully we'll learn more about their specific consequences when Transocean
In the meantime, Baker Hughes clearly delivered a solid quarter, as have the other large services companies. And with its new contributions from BJ Services, I'd urge fools to pay special attention to what I believe is a company on the move that may be getting unfairly punished by Mr. Market.