Baker Hughes' rig count falls

Investor's Business Daily

The No. 3 oilfield services provider said its Dec. int'l rig count fell 1.1% from Nov. but rose 6.2% from '11 to 1,253. Dec.'s offshore rig count was 299, unchanged from a year ago. Sterne Agee cut Baker Hughes (BHI) to neutral from buy, saying it doesn't expect "margin improvement in N. America until at least the second half of 2013, and more likely 2014." Oilfield services firms have been hurt from a decline in natural gas drilling due to low prices. RBC Capital also downgraded Baker Hughes but raised its price target to 46 from 45. Shares fell 1.5% to 42.36.

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