Baker Hughes posts small loss as GE integration continues

Baker Hughes news
Baker Hughes news

Houston’s Baker Hughes energy services company took in $5.8 billion in fourth-quarter revenues but posted a $29 million loss as it continues to integrate its merger with General Electric’s oil and gas business.

The loss is an improvement over the bigger $104 million net loss from the third quarter – Baker Hughes’ first three months as a new company in the GE family.

Baker Hughes’ revenues dipped 3 percent from the combined revenues of the separate Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas businesses in the fourth quarter of 2016, but grew 7 percent from the third quarter of last year.

 Still, the fourth-quarter revenues fell just shy of the $5.9 billion brought in by Houston rival Halliburton in the competition for the position as the world’s second-largest services company behind industry leader Schlumberger.

Baker Hughes’ quarterly loss included $119 million in restructuring, impairment charges and merger costs primarily related to the integration of the new company.

Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said the new company is set up well for a rebounding 2018.

“Overall, we continue to see improvement in activity as early indications of customer capital spending in 2018 are encouraging, particularly for our shorter cycle businesses,” Simonelli said. “International activity is stabilizing, and we are seeing signs of activity increase both in the volume and size of tenders for new work as customers feel more confident about their operating costs and commodity price stability.”

 Baker Hughes’ oilfield services earnings were up 10 percent from last year, courtesy of gains in North America, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. But but its equipment sales and turbomachinery businesses were down. Its digital solutions segment rose 4 percent.

The offshore energy sector continues to struggle though and Simonelli acknowledged that Baker Hughes’ subsea market remains challenging with low activity levels and pricing challenges. He also noted that liquefied natural gas activity remains muted in the short term.

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.