Yet Another Strong National Oilwell Varco Quarter

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With earnings season winding down for the oilfield services sector, the likes of Schlumberger (NYS: SLB) , Halliburton (NYS: HAL) , and Baker Hughes (NYS: BHI) have chalked up solid results. Beyond that, we can addNational Oilwell Varco (NYS: NOV) to the list of stellar performers.

For the quarter, the Houston-based company -- which provides manufactured equipment, technology, and services for the oil and gas industry -- chalked up $481 million, or $1.13 per share, versus last year's earnings of $401 million, or $0.96 per share. The analysts who follow the company had arrived at a consensus per-share expectation of $1.01.

Revenues at $3.51 billion were 19.4% higher than in the comparable quarter of 2010, making for three consecutive quarterly top line increases. The analysts' average revenue forecast was $3.23 billion for the quarter.

Looking at the company's three operating segments, the Rig Technology unit generated $1.89 billion in revenues, 13% higher year-over-year. Petroleum Services & Supplies revenues reached $1.36 billion, 32% above the comparable quarter in 2010, while revenues for Distribution Services of $423 million topped year-ago results by 16%.

National Oilwell Varco's release followed its disclosure of the acquisition for an unspecified price of STSA Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based company that is a leader in the Asia-Pacific region in the refurbishment of blowout preventers (BOPs). You'll recall that a malfunctioning BOP was likely a key factor in last year's well blowout and rig explosion aboard Transocean's (NYS: RIG) Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

In announcing National Oilwell's results, CFO Clay Williams noted that, "The great migration of activity from gas to oil has created new opportunities for our operations, along with new challenges as we reposition our assets and workforce to continue to meet the pressing needs of the petroleum industry."

He also stated that, "The Bakken region of North Dakota and Southern Saskatchewan, the Utica and Marcellus shales across the upper Midwest and the East Coast, the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas are pulling workers and iron into new frontier regions." Beyond that, he pointed out that, "oil productive regions of old, like California, the Rockies, the Permian Basin of West Texas are experiencing new growth."

National Oilwell Varco's role in the production of oil and gas is both crucial and underappreciated. As such, I recommend strongly that Fools with an interest in traditional energy investments monitor the company closely. Adding its name to your version of My Watchlist can prove extremely beneficial in this endeavor.

At the time this article was published Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of National Oilwell Varco. 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 companies named in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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