National Oilwell Varco's (NOV) - Get Report profit rose 55% in the fourth quarter, and the oilfield services company sees no letup in demand.

The company made $585 million, or $1.40 per share, compared with $376.7 million, or $1.05 per share, a year before. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting $1.33 a share on $376 million in revenue. Revenue was up 31% to $2.09 billion.

The Houston-based company's EPS would have been higher but it took a 4-cent-a-share charge related to its merger with Grant Prideco.

"We enjoyed a very successful 2008, in which each of our three segments reported higher sales and operating profit compared to the prior year," said Chairman and CEO Pete Miller.

"While near-term economic conditions are challenging, we enter 2009 with a healthy backlog of equipment and technology to deliver to our customers, and a balance sheet with considerably more cash than debt," he said. "We believe that the oil and gas industry's challenge to replace depleting reserves will require upgrading the world's rig fleet, and we look forward to continuing to help our customers retool their rigs after years of underinvestment."

This article was written by a staff member of