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Baker Hughes CEO: North America 2Q Margins Expected To Decline

Baker Hughes Inc.'s (BHI) North America margins for the second quarter are expected to decline, Chief Executive Martin Craighead said Tuesday.Margins have already declined sequentially in the first quarter due to the logistical challenges produced by the migration of natural gas-directed rigs toward more profitable oilfields, and the rapid build-up of pressure-pumping and hydraulic fracturing capacity that resulted from the recent shale boom.In a conference call with investors, Craighead said that second-quarter margins will "decline primarily due to seasonality in Canada" and continued weakness in pricing for its pressure pumping services. "Pricing in pressure pumping will likely continue to decrease throughout the end of the year," he said.The third-largest oilfield services provider, after Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) and Halliburton Co. (HAL), is also facing execution challenges in its pressure-pumping business, which analysts say are due to an inability to retain the workforce it inher...

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