For a while, it was touch and go. But I do believe that Weatherford's (NYSE:WFT) in the process of making a believer of me.

In fact, after the company released its earnings bright and early on Monday morning, its shares languished, only to gain ground as talk of a Gulf of Mexico hurricane nudged crude prices higher. But for a while, it'd appeared that Mr. Market was focusing more on a slight negative in the company's numbers, rather than on what clearly looks to be a strengthening situation.

So were the company's results disappointing? Not really. In fact, its $300 million in income from continuing operations was up nearly 28% from the same quarter last year. That relative gain was more than double Schlumberger's (NYSE:SLB) earnings improvement.

The per-share line came in at $0.43 before a non-recurring $0.09 gain from a restructuring of Weatherford's Qatar operation, which is now a joint venture. It turns out that the dart-throwers who follow the company had been expecting a couple pennies more.

But in the case of the Houston-based oilfield services company, there are other numbers that are lots more important than its two-penny miss. For instance, even its North America revenues were up 15%. And that was chicken feed compared to the 28% to 34% growth in the company's other geographic markets. More important than any of these metrics, however, was CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner's contention during his conference call that his company's international revenues should grow by 40% or more in 2009.

I know, I know -- about 45% of Weatherford's revenues are generated in North America, and I can tell you're thinking that there's just no way that North American revenues will leap up anywhere close to 40%. You're probably right, but don't lose sight of the unconventional gas plays that are popping up across the continent under the watchful eyes of the likes of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Plains Exploration & Production (NYSE:PXP) and EnCana (NYSE:ECA). I have to believe that success stories like the Hayneville, the Barnett, and the Montney will drive a lot of good North American business for Weatherford and its peers in the years to come.

So while I'm eager to hear other oilfield services companies like Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) tell us about their quarters later this week, I'm not taking my eyes off Weatherford. And judging by the company’s top-of-the-line 5-star rating in the investor intelligence database that is Motley Fool CAPS, neither are you.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does welcome your questions or comments. The Fool's disclosure policy can trump Mr. Market any day.