National Oilwell beats estimates on higher revenue from core business

Fri Feb 1, 2013 7:50am EST

(Reuters) - National Oilwell Varco Inc (NOV.N), the largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker, reported better-than-expected quarterly results on higher revenue from its rig technology business, its biggest.

The rig technology business provides equipment that automates well construction for offshore and onshore drilling rigs.

National Oilwell shares rose more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

Oil companies have started tapping into reservoirs in ever-deeper waters around the globe in recent years, increasing demand for suitable equipment.

"We .. enter the year with the firm belief that the oil and gas industry will continue to upgrade the world's aging rig fleet, while simultaneously building out both a deepwater and a worldwide shale infrastructure that are still in the early stages of development," Chief Executive Pete Miller said in a statement.

Revenue from NOV's biggest business, supplying technology to rigs, rose 25 percent in the fourth quarter.

Fourth-quarter net income increased to $668 million, or $1.56 per share, from $574 million, or $1.35 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the Houston-based company earned $1.49 per share. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 33 percent to $5.7 billion, while analysts were looking for $5.3 billion.

International markets account for more than half of the company's revenue.

National Oilwell shares have risen about 26 percent since touching a year-low of $59.07 in late June.

(Reporting By Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

(This story was refiled to add dropped word "on" in headline)

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