Baker Hughes earnings climb on active Middle Eastern, Asia Pacific markets

Baker Hughes saw net income climb to $341 million in the third quarter, up 22 percent from the same period last year on increased drilling activity across several geographic segments in the Eastern Hemisphere, the company said Friday.

The Houston oil field services company had record revenues of $5.8 billion in the quarter, up 5.5 percent from the third quarter 2012. In Baker Hughes’s growing markets in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Russia Caspian, revenue drove up 20 percent over the July-September period last year.

Global exploration and production spending, a key earnings driver for oil field services companies, climbed the most in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions this year, while North America has lagged behind, according to Barclays.

The company’s North American revenue increased 4 percent over the same period last year to $2.9 billion, the third consecutive quarter in which Baker Hughes saw improvement. Operations in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions drew a 26 percent revenue growth in the third quarter to $1.1 billion.

But demand for technology in North America should bolster growth in 2014, and independent producers likely will increase spending in the region as oil prices remain elevated, Martin Craighead, chairman and chief executive of Baker Hughes, said in a call with investors Friday morning.

“We’re confident in North America. It’s going to be an increasing conversation with the customer about technology,” Craighead said. “They just need to keep solving these problems, and that’s good. It’s good for us.”