Shares of Baker Hughes (BHI) fell during the trading session Thursday after the company reported a wider-than-expected loss.
The Houston-based company reported a loss of 98 cents a share a share. Excluding one-time costs, losses came to 30 cents, which missed analysts' estimates calling for a loss of 12 cents.
"The EPS was adjusted for $145 million after-tax due to impairment and restructuring charges, $97 million after-tax loss on sale of business interest, $30 million after-tax due to inventory adjustment, and $19 million after-tax for merger and related costs," Seaport Global Securities analyst Mark Brown noted.
Analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt say "ignore the headline of a loss of 30 cents a share ... as all of the delta resides at the tax line."
Revenue of $2.4 billion was relatively in-line with expectations.
"For the fourth quarter, revenue increased 2% sequentially as a result of increased activity in North America, uplift from better-than-expected seasonal year-end product sales, and pockets of growth internationally, primarily in the Middle East," CEO Martin Craighead said. "This was partially offset by reduced activity across the North Sea resulting from labor union strikes, weather delays and project postponements."
North America revenue of $775 million for the quarter increased 15% sequentially, driven by improved activity in the U.S. onshore business, seasonal improvements in Canada, and completions project deliveries in the Gulf of Mexico. Activity in the North America region picked up after OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached an agreement to curb production for the first half of 2017, leading U.S. producers to increase production, which means more contracts for oil wells for oilfield services companies like Baker Hughes.
Still, management said the competitive landscape remained challenging, keeping a "downward pressure on price."
Internationally, Baker Hughes saw revenue decline in most regions. Latin America revenue of $225 million decreased 7% sequentially. Revenue for the Europe/Africa/Russia Caspian area fell 6% sequentially to $490 million. The Middle East /Asia Pacific, however, was the lone bright spot -- revenue of $687 million for the quarter was up 6% sequentially.
Craighead said during a conference call with analysts on Thursday that he sees a "disconnect between the OPEC cuts that were announced and what we're forecasting at least for the next six months in terms of activity" for the Middle East region.
"We've seen no pullback that would correlate, if you will, to the announcement on a production cut," the CEO said.
For the full year, Baker Hughes posted an adjusted loss of $2.96 a share. Revenue of $9.8 billion for the year was down 37% from 2015 as a result of declining activity, global pricing pressures and reduced revenue in onshore pressure pumping.
Looking at the first half of 2017, the company expects onshore revenue in North America to increase as "customers ramp up activity, with service pricing improving but limited by overcapacity." Beyond North America, international weakness is expected to persist.
"We are forecasting activity declines and continued pricing pressure, with pockets of growth onshore," management stated. "In offshore markets, particularly deepwater, activity declines are expected to be more severe.
"The integration planning teams are making good progress, the regulatory review process is proceeding as planned, and we continue to expect a mid-2017 close," the company stated.
RBC Capital Markets' Co-Head of Global Energy Research Kurt Hallead remains positive on the pending combination and is "encouraged by the potential for revenue upside from digital integration and shifting focus to products and technology."
"We think the increased scale and stability of the 'New Baker Hughes' afforded through the transaction enhances the company's competitive position," Hallead said in a research note Thursday.