* Q1 earnings per share $0.60 vs $0.86 year earlier
* Revenue down 2 pct
* Forecasts modest increase in U.S. rig count for 2013
April 19 Baker Hughes Inc, the world's
third-largest oilfield services provider, reported a
higher-than-expected profit and forecast a modest increase in
U.S. rig counts for 2013.
The company said higher drilling activity in Canada and a
strong pumping business boosted first-quarter margins.
Larger rival Schlumberger Ltd reported a quarterly
profit that topped analysts' estimates as robust drilling
outside North America made up for a sluggish domestic market.
Excluding a $23 million loss related to Venezuelan currency
devaluation, the company earned 65 cents per share, above Wall
Street expectations for 62 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
Revenue fell 2 percent to $5.23 billion, also due to a
temporary slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico.
Net income from continuing operations attributable to Baker
Hughes fell to $267 million, or 60 cents per share, from $379
million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.
Oilfield services companies have had far less pricing power
this year as depressed natural gas prices pushed the number of
gas-targeted U.S. rigs to a 14-year low.
Baker Hughes said last month margins at its European
operations could thin in the first half of the year as it ramps
up an expanded contract in Norway and faces a few delays on UK
Shares of the company, which has a market value of $19.71
billion, closed at $44.03 on Thursday on the New York Stock