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Losses widen at Baker Hughes on supply chain pressure

Baker Hughes has reported a drop in revenues and widening losses as a result of supply chain issues and the suspension of its Russian operations, prompting a sharp sell-off in the American oilfield services group.

Shares in Baker Hughes — one of the biggest providers of equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry — tumbled as much as 13 per cent on Wednesday after the company reported disappointing second-quarter earnings. The shares recovered slightly to end the day 8 per cent down.

The Texas-based company said revenue fell 2 per cent from the previous year to $5bn, while a net loss of $839mn was significantly wider than the $68mn loss recorded in the same period last year. The numbers were well short of Wall Street expectations.

Chief executive Lorenzo Simonelli said the results reflected challenges including component shortages, supply chain inflation and its Russia operations being suspended.

The obstacles offset the benefits of surging demand in America’s shale fields as companies scramble to increase production in a tight oil market. Rival Halliburton on Tuesday posted a bumper quarter driven by what chief Jeff Miller described as an “all but sold-out” US and Canadian market.

Halliburton, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes — the three biggest oilfield services groups globally — were all slow to decamp from Russia as many western multinationals rushed for the exit following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Baker Hughes suspended new investments in Russia in March after the US government imposed sanctions on foreign financing. The company booked a $365mn impairment charge on Wednesday relating to its Russia operations as it works out how to offload them. It said the business was now “held for sale” and was considering options including an outright sale or a management buyout.

Income was also squeezed by lengthy delays in shipments of parts, including chips and electronics, affecting its ability to complete orders for some customers.

“We’re sitting at 60 per cent on-time delivery from our suppliers of electronics and chips to us,” chief financial officer Brian Worrell told analysts on Tuesday. “And it’s been stable at that 60 per cent for some time.”

He said the delays have more than doubled from the third quarter of last year, from 11 days to 25.

The company also sounded a cautious note about the outlook for the industry as the threat of a global recession looms.

“The demand outlook for the next 12 to 18 months is deteriorating, as inflation erodes consumer purchasing power and central banks aggressively raise interest rates to combat inflation,” Simonelli said.

Years of under-investment and the isolation of Russia could still support oil prices even if demand drops, he added.

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