Baker Hughes earnings miss profit outlook, sending shares down

By Liz Hampton and Rithika Krishna

(Reuters) -U.S. oilfield services and equipment firm Baker Hughes Co on Wednesday disclosed first-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts, sending its shares down about 10%, on mixed results across its equipment and services units.

Oil benchmarks have undergone their most erratic period since mid-2020, with global crude prices up 38% in the first quarter after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and shortages of materials and labor hurting oilfield services.

Shares fell 10% to $33.13 in early trading.

Baker Hughes said its results reflected a “very volatile market environment during the first few months of 2022,” with stronger orders offset by weaker profit margins on sales.

Orders in its Turbomachinery and Process Solutions business doubled from a year ago to $3 billion, but margins were pressured by supply chain issues and geopolitical events, Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Simonelli said.

Pre-tax margins in its oilfield services and oilfield equipment units declined sequentially, and margins in its equipment segment also fell year over year. Simonelli told investors he was “disappointed” with the overall level of profitability in that unit.

Baker’s chemical production unit was among the hardest hit by supply chain issues, resulting in a roughly 170-basis-point drag on oilfield services margins, the company said on a conference call.

It anticipates weaker revenues in its Russia-related businesses this year, particularly in its oilfield services unit, the company said. Russia accounted for about 4% of its total company revenues in the first quarter.

“Baker Hughes opened 2022 with continued strong order intake but some slippage on profit margins. Profitability improvements seen in recent quarters took a step back in Q1 as seasonality and supply chain challenges weighed on the reported results,” said Peter McNally, vice president for the industrial materials and energy group at research firm Third Bridge.

Adjusted net income rose to $145 million, or 15 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, up from $91 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago. Wall Street analysts had anticipated earnings of 20 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Rival Halliburton on Tuesday raised its forecast for customer spending in North America after its quarterly adjusted profit nearly doubled from a year earlier. Schlumberger NV is scheduled to report results later in the week.

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Porter)