Bill Nygren's Oakmark Comments on Baker Hughes
Baker Hughes (BHI) is one of only four global oil service companies. Over time, this industry benefits from the fact that incremental hydrocarbon reserves require increasing service intensity to develop. In the short term, however, the recent increase in North American natural gas production has caused an oversupply of gas, and this has caused exploration and production companies to reduce their drilling. We believe that this oversupply is temporary and that Baker Hughes will again be a beneficiary of positive secular trends in its industry. Blount is the global leader in the production of cutting chain for chainsaws. This is a classic “razor blade business,” as professional loggers need to replace their chains every 5-10 days. International sales, especially to emerging markets, are a large percentage of the total.