We've now had two oilfield service companies -- Halliburton
For the quarter, Weatherford achieved earnings of $144.8 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to $77.4 million, or $0.11 a share, in the same quarter a year ago. The most recent quarter benefited from a tax gain of $.01 per share along with revenues that grew 18% year over year to $2.53 billion. While Weatherford topped the analysts' consensus for per-share earnings of $0.17, it fell short on revenue expectations of $2.62 billion.
But even with the strong growth in earnings, Weatherford's shares were taken to the woodshed for a 6.7% thrashing on Tuesday. The obvious culprits were the revenue shortfall and overall market weakness.
As was the case with Halliburton, Weatherford's results benefited most from strength in North America, where revenue climbed 77% on impressive onshore gains and a seasonal improvement in Canada. These trends offset the slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP
The company expects that, while U.S. land activity may plateau, it'll hold its own against any potential weakness. Indeed, as Mr. Duroc-Danner observed on his company's call, "There is likely to be substitution of conventional gas segments and further strength in oil and shales, particularly the gas and condensate plays."
Clearly, the weakness in our hemisphere was centered in Mexico, where Weatherford's revenues fell $110 million from the second quarter. Indeed, the number of active rigs in that country fell from 50 to the three over the course of 2010. Primarily as a result, Latin American revenue slid by 36%, and international revenue for the quarter declined by 6.1%.
Nevertheless, Duroc-Danner and his colleagues are anticipating more strengthening during the next year. As they noted, "A return to improved market conditions in Mexico and the Middle East, coupled with continued strength in North America, South America, and Russia should drive improved results through 2011."
They also expect per-share earnings of $0.23 in the fourth quarter and $1.30 for 2011. On that basis, I'm inclined to pay careful attention to Weatherford -- along with Halliburton -- and to eagerly await Friday's release and industry assessment from sector kingpin Schlumberger
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