Schlumberger Probably Better Than It Looks

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Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning. The oil field services firm reported adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.08 on revenues of $11.17 billion. In the same period a year ago, Schlumberger reported EPS of $1.10 on revenues of $10.3 billion. Today’s results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.07 on revenues of $10.82 billion.

For the full year, Schlumberger reported EPS of $4.17 on revenues of $42.15 billion. A year ago the company reported EPS of $3.61 and $36.96 billion in revenues. The consensus estimate called for $4.19 per share on revenues of $42.35 billion.

The company’s CEO said:

International grew from robust exploration and development activity, both offshore and in key land markets. In North America, we demonstrated our resiliency from the challenges of the land markets by growing the business by more than $1 billion, or 9%, aided by our strong position in the offshore market, particularly in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The company did not offer any guidance in its announcement, but the consensus forecast for the first quarter calls for EPS of $1.02 on revenues of $10.62 billion. For the full year, EPS is estimated at $4.82 on revenues of $45.59 billion.

Schlumberger did say that it expects global demand for oil to grow at “similar levels to 2012” with North American growth continuing while other non-OPEC producers “will likely continue to face delay and decline challenges.” Read “Africa and Russia.” The firm expects international exploration and production spending to rise by 10% in 2013, along with a “strong activity outlook” for the Gulf of Mexico.

Revenue fell by a modest 1% in the company’s Europe/CIS/Africa region, and the region also experienced margin pressure due to contract delays in Africa and seasonal slowdowns in the North Sea and in Russia.

Shares are up fractionally in premarket trading this morning, at $73.40 in a 52-week range of $59.12 to $80.78. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $88.75 before today’s results were announced.

For a look at what one analyst thinks of the oil field sector stocks, see our story on price targets in the oil field services sector.

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