BJ Services Notes Fourth Fiscal Quarter 2009 Net Loss

BJ Services Company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $2.8 million, or $(0.01) per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, which ended September 30, 2009, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $0.10 per diluted share for the previous quarter and net income from continuing operations of $0.59 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Discontinued operations, consisting of the Company's pressure pumping business in Russia, accounted for a net loss of $0.02 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to a net loss of $0.01 per diluted share for the previous quarter and a net loss of $0.02 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. The Company completed its last pressure pumping contract in Russia in July, so the Company reclassified its Russia pressure pumping business as a discontinued operation and, accordingly, recast prior periods to conform to that presentation.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 was $878.2 million, a 13% increase from the $780.2 million reported in the previous quarter and a 42% decrease from the $1.51 billion reported in the prior year's September quarter. Operating loss for the quarter was $15.0 million, compared to an operating loss of $39.1 million for the previous quarter and operating income of $262.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Fourth quarter results included $5.3 million of transaction costs related to the pending merger with Baker Hughes Incorporated.

Operating income (loss) as a percentage of revenue was (1.7) % in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to (5.0) % in the previous quarter and 17.4% in the comparable quarter of the prior year.

Commenting on the results, Chairman and CEO Bill Stewart said, "Our fourth quarter results reflected some sequential improvement in U.S. drilling activity, particularly with respect to oil exploration, and some margin improvement that primarily resulted because of asset impairment and employee termination costs recorded in the third quarter that did not recur in the fourth quarter. Drilling activity in the U.S., as measured by average active drilling rigs, increased 4% sequentially, but declined 51% compared to the same period a year ago. Natural gas drilling was 5% lower sequentially, and North America natural gas prices show little sign of meaningful near-term recovery. Our Canadian operations were slow to recover from the spring break-up period, but showed significant improvement from the third fiscal quarter. International pressure pumping revenues were flat compared to the prior quarter, as was international drilling activity, with sequential margin erosion particularly in Latin America. Our Oilfield Services Group results rebounded significantly from a very weak third fiscal quarter.

"While we experienced meaningful sequential improvement and generally stable U.S. pricing during the quarter, near term market conditions overall are still very challenging. Looking at the longer term horizon, we have more reason for optimism. We were recently awarded a four-year contract, renewable for two additional two-year periods, to provide coiled tubing services for Statoil ASA in Norway with estimated revenues of up to $250 million over the full eight-year period, and a $50 million letter of intent for a three-year pipeline construction contract on the Nord Stream gas pipeline project extending from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Revenue related to these contracts is expected to begin in early fiscal 2011. And, of course, we look forward to completing the merger with Baker Hughes in the first calendar quarter of 2010 and beginning to realize the benefits of integrating these two industry leaders into a more competitive global enterprise."

During the quarter, cash and cash equivalents increased $51.3 million to $282.6 million, as the Company continued to generate positive operating cash flow. The Company repaid $14.3 million of indebtedness, reducing outstanding debt to $506.1 million. Other uses of cash during the quarter included capital expenditures of $80.0 million and the payment of $14.6 million in dividends.

September Quarter Review

U.S./Mexico Pressure Pumping Services fourth quarter 2009 revenue of $342.7 million was 9% higher than the June 2009 quarter (sequential) with average active drilling rigs for the same period increasing 4%. Compared to the September 2008 quarter (year-over-year), revenue decreased 55% on a 47% decrease in average active drilling rigs. Sequentially, revenues improved most notably in the Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains and East Texas, partially offset by sequential declines in South Texas and Gulf of Mexico areas. For the year-over-year periods, the steep declines were attributable to lower fracturing and cementing activity in the U.S., coupled with a reduction in pricing for our services and products. Mexico revenues increased year-over-year, due to increased activity both onshore and offshore.

Operating margin for U.S./Mexico improved slightly to a loss of (10)% in the fourth quarter from an operating loss of (12)% in the previous quarter, primarily as a result of asset impairment and employee severance costs recorded in the third quarter not repeating in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year, operating margin declined from a positive operating margin of 20% in the same quarter last year. The lower operating margin in fiscal 2009 was primarily attributable to lower U.S. drilling activity and lower pricing for our services and products.

Canada Pressure Pumping Services fourth quarter 2009 revenue of $59.0 million was 154% higher sequentially with average drilling rig activity up 105%, primarily reflecting increased drilling activity coming out of the spring break-up period. Year-over-year revenue decreased 56% with average drilling rig activity down 57% primarily as a result of decreased cementing and fracturing activity, as well as lower pricing.

Operating margin for the fourth quarter of 2009 was (3)%, improved from (67)% in the previous quarter and down from 15% in the same quarter in the previous year. The sequential margin improvement was primarily the result of emerging from the seasonal decline in drilling activity in the third fiscal quarter associated with the spring break-up period. The year-over-year margin decline was largely attributable to lower drilling activity and lower pricing.

International Pressure Pumping Services fourth quarter 2009 revenue of $257.6 million was virtually unchanged compared to revenue of $258.1 million in the fiscal third quarter, with average active drilling rig levels decreasing 2% for the same period. Revenue compared to the same quarter last year decreased 23% with average active drilling rig count down 16%. Historical results for the International Pressure Pumping Services segment have been restated to exclude our operations in Russia, which were reclassified as discontinued operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

The sequential improvement in Latin America is largely attributable to increased activity in Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, partially offset by industry labor strike-related activity decreases in Argentina. The sequential decline in the Middle East is primarily attributable to lower activity in India and Azerbaijan, partially offset by increases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Kazakhstan. The sequential decrease in Asia Pacific is largely the result of lower activity in Malaysia and Vietnam. Sequential revenues in the Europe segment were flat overall, as increases in Norway were offset by declines in the U.K. and the Netherlands.

Year-over-year, revenues decreased significantly in each segment of our International Pressure Pumping operations with average active drilling rigs declining 16%. The Middle East decrease was primarily the result of decreased activity and lower pricing in Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The Asia Pacific decrease reflects decreased activity levels in China, New Zealand and Malaysia, partially offset by higher revenue in Australia. Latin America was negatively impacted by labor strikes in Argentina and decreased activity in Venezuela. The decline in Europe is primarily due to lower activity and lower pricing in the North Sea and lower activity in Nigeria and the Netherlands.

Operating income margin for International Pressure Pumping was 8% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to 11% in the previous quarter and 17% for the same quarter last year. Sequential margin improvement in the Middle East and Europe regions were more than offset by lower margins in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Year-over-year margins were lower in every region due to the overall market decline and lower prices in certain markets. The lower margins were primarily due to activity declines and pricing pressures in certain international markets and charges totaling $4.5 million for unfavorable outcomes of a tax court ruling and a customer dispute recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

We completed work on our final pressure pumping contract in Russia in July 2009. Consequently, we classified the Russia pressure pumping unit as a discontinued operation in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Accordingly, the historical results of our Russian pressure pumping operations have been reclassified for all periods presented. We have begun the process of redeploying and liquidating assets associated with this business. We recorded charges totaling $6.6 million in connection with these exit activities, including employee separation costs, fixed asset and inventory impairment charges and freight costs to redeploy certain pressure pumping assets into other markets.

Oilfield Services Group fourth quarter 2009 revenue of $218.9 million increased 18% sequentially, but decreased 23% year-over-year.

All of our Oilfield Services Group's operating segments, with the exception of Tubular Services, reported sequential revenue increases in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Completion Tools showed the largest sequential increase in revenue, reflecting a number of relatively large project-related international sales in the fourth quarter. Completion Fluids benefited from new contracts in Mexico and increased deepwater revenue in the Gulf of Mexico. Process & Pipeline Services experienced high seasonal activity for its process business, particularly in Europe. The sequential decrease in Tubular Services revenue is primarily attributable to various drilling project delays and generally lower drilling activity.

Year-over-year, Process & Pipeline Services revenues declined primarily due to lower demand for our services and the completion of certain large international projects during fiscal 2009. Tubular Services revenues declined primarily due to lower service activity primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Chemical Services and Completion Fluids revenues declined primarily as a result of decreased activity in the United States. Completion Tools revenues also declined primarily due to lower tool sales in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and lower tool services in Canada.

The Oilfield Services Group operating income margin for the quarter was 14%, up from 6% in the previous quarter and down from 21% in the prior year's fourth quarter, reflecting the impact of revenue variances described above.

Primarily as a result of lower than expected profit for our North American operations, and the resulting change in the geographic mix of our pre-tax income for fiscal 2009, our effective tax rate for fiscal 2009 changed from an estimated 25% as of June 30, 2009, to 14.5% as of September 30, 2009. Accordingly, we revised our year-to-date income tax expense to reflect these revised expectations, and as a result, our net income tax benefit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 was 90% of our pre-tax loss from reported continuing operations for the quarter.
 

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