North America Refocus on Oil Drilling Impacts Baker Hughes Earnings

Baker Hughes announced Tuesday net income for the first quarter 2012 of $379 million, or $0.86 per diluted share. This compares to $0.87 per diluted share for the first quarter 2011, and to adjusted net income (a non-GAAP measure) of $1.22 per diluted share and net income of $0.72 per diluted share for the fourth quarter 2011.

Revenue for the first quarter 2012 was $5.36 billion, up 18 percent compared to $4.53 billion for the first quarter 2011 and down 1 percent compared to $5.39 billion for the fourth quarter 2011.

"Our international business performed very well, relative to the typical seasonal declines we see in the first quarter. In particular, the performance of the Europe/Africa/Russia Caspian segment was excellent, driven by strong results across Africa where we provided drilling and evaluation services on multiple high-profile exploration wells in Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique," said Martin Craighead, Baker Hughes President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our technology enabled us to differentiate on many important new contracts including a high-pressure, high-temperature Wireline contract in Europe, and an Artificial Lift contract for approximately 1,000 wells in Russia. Furthermore, during the quarter we began work on our first Integrated Operations contract in Iraq, and we expect to see further growth in this business throughout the year.

"As previously disclosed, margins in North America were lower than the fourth quarter due to challenges in the Pressure Pumping product line, including the rapid transition from natural gas to oil-directed drilling rig activity, the increasing supply of Pressure Pumping capacity across the market, as well as company specific supply chain challenges. We are addressing our supply chain challenges by improving our distribution network, increasing supplies of critical raw materials and enhancing the utilization of our fleets and other critical assets," Craighead added.

"We expect to realize significant benefits from these improvements in the second half of 2012; however, it is clear that the overall market is experiencing pricing pressure that is likely to extend throughout 2012.

"Our other product lines continue to post impressive revenue and operating results in North America," Craighead continued. "Our technological advantages across many of our product lines continue to drive superior performance, and the shift to oil-directed drilling has been very beneficial for our Drilling, Completions, Upstream Chemicals and Artificial Lift product lines."

Debt increased by $449 million to $4.52 billion compared to the fourth quarter 2011. Cash decreased by $270 million to $780 million compared to the fourth quarter 2011.

Capital expenditures were $671 million, depreciation and amortization expense was $363 million, and dividend payments were $65 million in the first quarter 2012.

Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) in the first quarter 2012 was $990 million, down $194 million sequentially.