* Q1 EPS $0.86 vs est. $0.80
* Q1 rev up 18 pct
April 24 Baker Hughes Inc posted a
better-than-expected profit helped by improved performance at
its international business, but the world's third-largest
oilfield services company said pricing pressure in the North
American market will likely extend through the year.
Baker Hughes said last month that its North American profit
margins were hit by a shift of U.S. drilling activity from
natural gas-producing areas to liquids-rich basins, along with
pressure on hydraulic fracturing pricing.
"It is clear that the overall market is experiencing pricing
pressure that is likely to extend throughout 2012," Chief
Executive Martin Craighead said in a statement.
Baker Hughes said it was improving its distribution network,
and increasing supplies of critical raw materials.
"We expect to realize significant benefits from these
improvements in the second half of 2012," Craighead said.
First-quarter net profit fell to $379 million, or 86 cents a
share, from $381 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on an average were expecting a profit of 80 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 18 percent to $5.36 billion.
Last week, larger rivals Schlumberger and
Halliburton Co highlighted similar challenges across the
industry, but posted profits ahead of estimates as the effect
was less dramatic than expected.
Baker Hughes' stock has fallen 16 percent since the start of
the year, compared with a 5 percent decline for Halliburton and
a 4 percent gain for Schlumberger, the global leader in the