Combine plummeting energy prices, a global credit crunch, the effects of a couple of marauding hurricanes, analysts trying to forecast results with more accuracy than is realistic, and stuff your concoction with a general market rollover.

Bake it all for an hour, and you're likely to have a day like that experienced by Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) on Wednesday. For the quarter, the company said it earned $428.9 million, or $1.39 a share, compared to $389.1 million, or $1.22 a share a year ago. Revenue was up 12% to $3.01 billion. Not bad, so far.

One difficulty was that Wall Street had expected $1.35 a share on revenues of $3.09 billion. So in a day when all the stars lined up against the energy names, the company's shares tumbled a whopping 22% to close at $30.35. Of course, Baker Hughes wasn't completely alone, being joined at least directionally by a 16.6% fall for Weatherford (NYSE:WFT), a 15% hickey for Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), 12.6% for Transocean (NYSE:RIG), and 7.5% for Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB).

Baker Hughes’ slump was enough to make you think the company had punted the quarter, which it hadn't. Indeed, revenues from its Drilling and Evaluation unit rose by 15%, while those from Completion and Production were up 10%. And all this occurred in the face of antics from Gustav and Ike, which together cost it an estimated $78 million in quarterly revenues and $0.11 a share on the bottom line.

Geographically, North America and Latin America each jacked up their revenues by double-digit percentages, while Europe/Africa/Russia/Caspian and Middle East/Asia Pacific were up 9% and 8% respectively. Pretax profits were up in all the regions except the Middle East/Asia Pacific.

Like a number of companies in various industries, from Schlumberger to 3M (NYSE:MMM), Baker Hughes' management has become somewhat cautious about at least short-term trends in the U.S. In other areas, however, the company expects its fourth quarter revenues to expand by 14% to 15%.

So we now have an interesting convergence of events to consider: Members of OPEC will meet Friday to discuss production cuts, because as of this writing, crude prices have declined to $66.20 a barrel on Thursday. That has the makings of profits in at least the intermediate term. But with Baker Hughes’ shares near its five year low, and our world decidedly upside-down, I'd suggest that Fools not imbued with steel nerves and a surfeit of patience remain on the sidelines until Planet Earth resumes its rightful orientation.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. He does solicit your comments or questions. The Fool has a well-oriented disclosure policy.