By Maria Armental
National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) reported a wider loss in the most recent period, driven by difficult start of the year and capital austerity.
The first-quarter loss widened to $77 million, or 20 cents a share, from $68 million, or 18 a share a year earlier. The operating loss was $48 million, compared with a $1 million operating loss a year earlier.
Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $1.94 billion from $1.8 billion a year earlier.
The results were in line with the company's downbeat forecast as of April 12 but below analysts' projected loss of 10 cents a share on $2 billion in revenue, according to FactSet data.
On April 12, the company said it expected to report an operating loss of about $48 million and $1.94 billion in revenue, below earlier projections, citing the sharp drop in oil prices in late 2018 along with greater-than-expected capital austerity in upstream oil and gas markets.
On Thursday, Chief Executive Clay Williams said in a statement that the company expects modestly improving activity in international and offshore markets but noted that capital austerity in the North American land market leaves the company's near-term outlook uncertain.
Still, Mr. Williams said, strong order acceleration in March allowed the company to report a sequential increase in bookings, improving its outlook for the current quarter and remainder of 2019.
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