Smith International Beats Estimate

Profits rise 52% in the fourth quarter.
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Smith International's

(SII)

fourth-quarter earnings rose 52% from a year ago, beating estimates, thanks to higher land-based drilling activity and price increases in North America.

The Houston-based oil and gas equipment and services provider earned $88.6 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter, compared to $58.2 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for a gain, Swift earned 45 cents a share in the latest quarter, beating Wall Street analyst estimates by 2 cents a share.

Revenue increased 25.4% from last year to $1.53 billion, higher than the consensus estimate of $1.49 billion.

"Considering the higher level of planned investment by exploration and production companies and our exposure to some of the fastest-growing segments in the oilfield service market, Smith can continue to deliver exceptional growth," the company said.

GAAP operating profit increased by 50% to $195.59 million in the fourth quarter while operating profit margin rose 208 basis points to 12.78%.

Smith expects 2006 earnings to be in the range of $2 and $2.10 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimate earnings of $1.97 a share.

The stock rose 0.8% to $43.07 Monday.

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