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Baker Hughes Fourth-Quarter Profit Up

Oil services provider Baker Hughes said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit climbed 27% on higher revenue.

Earnings increased to $326.2 million, or $1.02 per share, from $257.9 million, or 75 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of $1.19 per share.

Quarterly revenue rose 23% to $2.45 billion from $1.99 billion in the prior year on strength across its business segments.

Consensus estimates put sales at $2.46 billion.

The company said that previously disclosed settlement talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice will likely result in the resolution of investigations into activities in Angola, Kazakhstan and Nigeria. Baker Hughes estimated an after-tax charge of about $38.5 million, or 12 cents per share, that was recorded in the fourth quarter under its selling, general and administrative costs.

The current quarter's results also included a $21.2 million reduction to revenue costs due to a change in accounting procedures related to inventory in its Baker Atlas unit.

For the year, net income surged to $2.42 billion, or $7.27 per share, compared with $878.4 million, or $2.57 per share, in 2005.

Full-year revenue grew to $9.03 billion, up 26 percent from $7.19 billion in the previous year.