Two Reports, Two Different Reactions In Oil Services Group

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Baker Hughes and National Oilwell Varco are both oil services firms, but their first-quarter earnings reports and the reaction by investors to those reports could not have been more different. Shares of National Oilwell slid 4.6%, but Baker Hughes surged almost 4.4% on volume that was more than double the daily average.

National Oilwell (NOV, the largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker, said its first-quarter profit slid 4% to $407 million, or 96 cents per share, from $422 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier. On adjusted basis, NOV earned $1 a share, matching Wall Street estimates. Revenue came in at $3.15 billion, topping the $3.13 billion consensus estimate.

NOV said it is seeing brisk demand for its services and that it expects to book orders from Brazil later this year, noting that its $2.3 billion in first-quarter orders included nothing from South America's second-largest oil producer. NOV, widely regarded as one of the more acquisitive companies in the oil services sector and itself the product of a merger, said it is looking at both large and small deals and expects to make an announcement on that front later this year.

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes (BHI) said its first-quarter profit nearly tripled thanks to soaring revenue and robust global margins. The company earned earned $381 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with $129 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue surged 78% to $4.54 billion. Analysts expected a profit of 78 cents on revenue of $4.29 billion.