Global oilfield growth lifts Schlumberger, Baker Hughes

HOUSTON, Fri Jul 20, 2012 – Schlumberger Ltd. and Baker Hughes Inc., the world’s No. 1 and No. 3 oilfield services companies, posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as revenue piled up outside North America.
Investment cycles outside the volatile U.S. and Canadian oilfield markets are generally smoother, and analysts said Schlumberger got a particularly big lift from Europe and Africa.
The closely watched Baker Hughes-compiled U.S. rig count has been steady as natural gas reductions have been offset by more oil drilling. But the count outside North America hit 1,285 in June, its highest level since 1985, lifted by the inclusion of some 80 rigs in Iraq that expanded the Middle East count by a quarter.
Schlumberger’s second-quarter net profit rose to $1.40 billion, or $1.05 per share, from $1.34 billion, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts’ average forecast was $1.00 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue increased 16 percent to $10.45 billion, above the $10.41 billion analysts expected. Two-thirds of the revenue for Schlumberger, with its major offices in Paris, Houston and The Hague, was earned in markets outside North America.
Profit growth for Houston-based Baker Hughes was also driven by Europe, and better-than-expected earnings in its home market. The company earned $439 million, or $1 per share. Analysts expected 77 cents a share.