For Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes
The results included earnings that shot up to $335 million, or $0.77 per share, for the quarter. Those figures were hardly in the same league as the $84 million in earnings, or $0.27 per share, for the comparable quarter a year ago. But backing out one-time items, including an acquisition charge and gains on investments, the numbers for the quarter moved to $366 million in net income, or $0.84 a share.
Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 reached $4.42 billion, a whopping 82% over the $2.43 billion a year earlier. As you'd likely expect, those results made short work of analysts' estimates of per-share earnings of $0.64 on revenues of $4.26 billion. The most recent quarter includes the contribution from the acquisition of BJ Services, for which Baker Hughes paid $5.5 billion in cash and stock in April.
Geographically, the company noted that "the service intensity of land-based drilling North America continues to escalate as we advance our capability to leverage pressure pumping and Baker Hughes' legacy product lines." It continues to gain business in Canada, including a new contract for EnCana
As CEO Chad Deaton said, "In North America, margins increased almost 500 basis points sequentially, reflecting the ongoing strength of customer spending in unconventional oil and gas plays." He also said the company's international operating margins improved by 375 basis points sequentially.
However, he also cautioned: "We remain concerned about the pace of permit approval for both deepwater and shelf drilling, which continues to weigh on the outlook for the Gulf of Mexico."
In the market for strong stock ideas? Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the stock named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.