Baker Hughes (BKR.N) and Halliburton (HAL.N) on Wednesday said North American oil markets were showing signs of recovery as the two oilfield firms beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter earnings.
The upbeat outlook marked a sharp change from a year ago, when the pandemic slashed oilfield activity and spending.
Revenue was down year on year for both companies as oil and gas customers remain committed to lower spending.
Halliburton reported earnings of 19 cents per share versus analysts’ estimates of 17 cents, data from Refinitiv IBES showed.
The beat comes as global oil prices have rebounded from pandemic lows, with Brent futures trading close to $66 per barrel and the worldwide rig count up about 11.5% to 1,231 rigs in the quarter, Baker Hughes data showed.
“The first quarter marked an activity inflection for the international markets, while North America continued to stage a healthy recovery,” Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller said.
Its shares were up 2.6% in pre-market trading to $19.81.
Halliburton’s revenue of $3.45 billion was up 6.6% from the fourth quarter but down from $5 billion a year earlier.
Analysts had expected revenue of $3.36 billion, Refinitiv data showed.
Baker Hughes’ earnings per share of 12 cents edged Wall Street estimates of 11 cents. Profit was down 40% in the first quarter, while adjusted operating income fell to $270 million for the quarter from $462 million last quarter.
Revenue was down 12% year on year at $4.78 billion.
Baker said it would see a non-operating loss from a change in the fair value of its investment in technology firm C3.ai of $788 million.