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A Baker Hughes sign outside the oil logistics company's local office in Sherwood Park, Alberta, on Nov. 13, 2016.Chris Helgren/Reuters

U.S. oil field services and equipment firm Baker Hughes Co BKR-Q on Wednesday reported a higher quarterly profit from a year earlier, but missed Wall Street estimates after facing a “volatile market” in early 2022 that prompted mixed results across its reporting units.

Oil benchmarks have undergone their most erratic period since mid-2020 with global crude prices up 38 per cent in the first quarter after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February stoked global energy supply concerns.

The invasion has driven higher demand for liquefied natural gas, a market for which Baker Hughes supplies equipment, and other energy sources. However, it also comes as the industry is grappling with supply chain issues and labour shortages Shares of Baker Hughes were down 2.56 per cent in pre-market trading to $35.60, while Brent oil futures were up about 1.4 per cent.

Baker Hughes said its results reflected a “very volatile market environment during the first few months of 2022.” While orders in its Turbomachinery and Process Solutions business doubled from a year ago to $3-billion, it also faced pressures from global supply chain issues and geopolitical events, said Lorenzo Simonelli, the chief executive officer of Baker Hughes.

EBITDA margins in its oil field services and oil field equipment units both declined sequentially, while margins in its equipment segment were also down 2.2 basis points year-over-year.

“Baker Hughes opened 2022 with continued strong order intake but some slippage on profit margins. Profitability improvements seen in recent quarters took a step back in Q1 as seasonality and supply chain challenges weighed on the reported results,” said Peter McNally, vice president for the industrial materials and energy group at Third Bridge.

Adjusted net income rose to $145-million, or 15 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, up from $91-million, or 12 cents per share. Wall Street analysts had anticipated earnings of 20 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

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