Baker Hughes Q4 Profit Surges

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Oil services firm Baker Hughes said its fourth-quarter profit almost quadrupled thanks to higher oil prices, improving demand in North America and its 2010 acquisition of BJ Services. The company echoed sentiments by rivals that have recently delivered results in saying North America was a key catalyst for their robust fourth-quarter numbers.

Texas-based Baker Hughes (BHI) said its North American revenue surged nearly six-fold in the quarter. The company earned $335 million, or 77 cents a share, up from $84 million, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier on revenue of $4.42 billion. Excluding charges, Baker Hughes earned 84 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 65 cents on revenue of $4.27 billion.

Baker Hughes reported gains at its Middle East and Asia business and in Latin America paired with an earnings decline in Europe, Africa and Russia, but global profits jumped 20% overall, according to the Wall Street Journal.

International margins were up almost 4% in the quarter. The $6.8 billion acquisition of BJ Services last April allows Baker Hughes to offer pressure pumping services, a key element in exploiting unconventional drilling, the Journal reported.

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