Baker Hughes (BHI) reported a wider-than-expected loss but said it's moving forward with new products and sales channels while it carves out costs that should improve second half margins.
The Houston oil services company lost 90 cents in the second quarter, more than the 62 cent consensus of Wall Street analysts, mainly due to a wider decline in international margins. It generated sales of $2.41 billion in the quarter, beating what analysts anticipated would be around $2.33 billion.
Capital One analyst Luke Lemoine was positive on the results, saying the company's "clean" Ebitda (without doubtful accounts and valuation allowances for indirect taxes) came in at around $61 million, which is fairly close to analysts' expectations of $65 million.
Lemoine also noted that Baker Hughes' $500 million in cost-cutting is also on track and that it repurchased $500 million in shares in the quarter, a third of its buyback program. He has an overweight rating on the stock with a $55 price target.
Seaport Global Securities, which also has a buy rating for Baker Hughes with a $58 price target, thought the results and muted guidance from management had negative implications for the stock.
Indeed, CEO Martin Craighead [pictured] is less bullish about the second half of the year than his competitors Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) and Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) . He said customers are "staying pat" until oil prices reach $50 and he believes it may take oil prices approaching $60 per barrel for a real turnaround to begin.
"We don't expect to see a meaningful recovery in the second half," he said. "Our customers have slowed or cancelled exploration and I have yet to see an economic catalyst that would lead to higher oil prices."
The executive said demand is only "modestly higher" than expectations at the beginning of the year and Brexit and a stronger dollar have created more uncertainty. In North America, he said there are 5,000 wells across various basins that are waiting to be completed once oil prices recover, but a large number of them are not economic at $50 per barrel oil, "which is a near-term opportunity for Baker Hughes."
The company is very focused on developing technologies that will allow oil and gas producers to cut costs on their operations. It said it has plans to launch 60 new products in the second half, including tools to more accurately evaluate cementing jobs and lift motors that will lower consumption costs. When asked by an analyst, Craighead said the new products are expected to bring in $250 million in new sales in the first year of launch.
Craighead said the company has consolidated its sales under one umbrella focused on nine geographic markets, versus the previous 20, so it can operate more efficiently. It's also making progress toward achieving its cost-cutting objectives, which should boost its margins for the rest of the year. "I'm very optimistic about our road ahead," he said. "We are well positioned for opportunities today and when market begins to recover."