Revenues Sink Schlumberger, Baker Hughes (SLB, BHI, HAL)

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) and Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reported third-quarter results before markets opened this morning. Both of the oil field services firms missed estimates for quarterly revenues, though Schlumberger's adjusted earnings per share (EPS) beat the consensus estimate by $0.02.

For the quarter, Schlumberger posted adjusted diluted EPS of $1.08 on revenues of $10.61 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.96 on revenues of $6.55 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.06 and $10.68 billion in revenues.

Schlumberger's CEO said:

Our third-quarter results reflected steady international growth although performance in regional markets varied through activity mix and changes to project schedules. Key markets, both on land and offshore, continued to drive performance as international demand for reservoir characterization and drilling services more than offset weakness in the North America pressure pumping market.

At Baker Hughes, third-quarter adjusted diluted EPS came in at $0.73 on revenue of $5.23 billion. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $1.18 on revenue of $5.10 billion. The consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters called for EPS of $0.84 on revenues of $5.44 billion.

Baker Hughes' CEO said:

[O]ur margins were impacted by the well-known imbalance in the North American Pressure Pumping business. Additionally, activity was less than planned in several key geomarkets for Baker Hughes, resulting in an unfavorable mix. The clearest example is Canada, where the seasonal return of activity was nearly 30 percent less than this time last year. Internationally, the collective rig count in Brazil, Colombia, and Norway was down 17 percent compared to the last quarter, and these are all meaningful markets for Baker Hughes. In the fourth quarter, activity levels in our International segments are projected to rebound.

Neither company offered new guidance. The consensus fourth-quarter estimates for Schlumberger call for $1.16 in EPS on revenues of $11.2 billion. For the full fiscal year, EPS are expected to total $4.24 on revenues of $42.83 billion.

For Baker Hughes the fourth-quarter consensus estimate calls for EPS of $0.92 on revenues of $5.59 billion. For the full fiscal year EPS are expected to come in at $3.62 on revenues of $21.75 billion.

The main difference between Schlumberger and Baker Hughes or Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), which reported inline results earlier this week, is Schlumberger's international activity, which the company expects to grow more than 10% year-over-year in 2012. Of the company's third-quarter revenues more than 70% came from outside North America. At Baker Hughes just 44% of revenues are derived from outside North America. Drilling will not pick up again in North America until natural gas prices rise -- it is really just about that simple.

Baker Hughes' shares are down about 0.7% in premarket trading this morning, at $46.77 in a 52-week range of $37.08 to $61.90. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $53.40 before today's report.

Schlumberger's shares are down 0.2% at $74.66 in a 52-week range of $59.12 to $80.78. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $87.60 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

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