HOUSTON -- Weak activity in North America and the falling number of operating rigs in the worldwide drove third-quarter net income down by 61 percent at Baker Hughes.
The oilfield services company fell well short of Wall Street projections, even removing one-time charges, and it missed on revenue as well.
"Activity was less than planned in several key geomarkets for Baker Hughes, resulting in an unfavorable mix," said CEO Martin Craighead. "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."
It's not the first company in the sector to take a hit in the third quarter. Halliburton on Wednesday posted a 12 percent decline in profits,
Baker Hughes Inc., based in Houston, earned $279 million, or 63 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That's down from $706 million, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier.
The prior-year period included a large tax benefit related to the reorganization of some foreign subsidiaries.
Stripping out a charge of 7 cents per share tied to internally developed software and other information technology assets and 3 cents per share for a plant closing, earnings were 73 cents per share.
Analysts expected earnings of 83 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.
Revenue rose 3 percent to $5.23 billion from $5.06 billion, with stronger results across all regions. Still, the performance missed Wall Street's $5.43 billion.
President and CEO Martin Craighead said in a statement on Friday that the rig count for Brazil, Colombia and Norway dropped 17 percent.