Image courtesy of Baker Hughes.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes missed its profit target for the first time in five quarters as a drop off in Gulf of Mexico drilling and political tensions in Libya and Iraq shrunk profit margins.

Baker Hughes said pretax third quarter profits for its operations in Africa, Europe and the Russian Caspian dropped to 8 percent of revenue down from 17 percent last year.

However, spiking demand for pressure pumping and Canadian activity boosted the company’s third quarter North American profits by 10 percent.

North America accounted for over half of total revenue, Reuters said.

The Houston-based company also saw record revenues of $6.25 billion in the third quarter, up by 8 percent but just missing the average analyst estimate of $6.29 billion, Reuters said.

The company’s net income rose to $375 million, or 86 cents per share, in the third quarter, up from $341 million, or 77 cents per share, last year.

Baker Hughes expects revenues and profit margins to bounce back in the fourth quarter as drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico picks up and it improves profitability in its pressure pumping business.


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