Weatherford Earnings Bright Spots Not Enough to Cheer Investors

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When Weatherford International Inc. (NYSE: WFT) reported third-quarter 2016 earnings after markets closed Tuesday, the oil field services company posted an adjusted net loss per share of $0.39 on revenues of $1.36 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a net loss per share of $0.05 on revenues of $2.24 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimate for a per share loss of $0.25 on revenues of $1.44 billion.

Third-quarter revenues declined 3% sequentially and 39% from the prior year. Adjusted revenue grew 1%, with North America growing by 12% and international revenue declining by 4%. Land drilling rigs revenue declined 10% sequentially.

Included among the bad news were a few rays of light:

  • Excluding revenue from a concluded project, quarterly revenue rose 1% sequentially after seven straight quarters of decline.
  • North American revenues rose 12% sequentially.
  • It closed a tenth manufacturing and service facility, exceeding by one the full-year target.

Chairman, President and CEO Bernard J. Duroc said:

Our third quarter results represent the first period of revenue growth ex-Zubair, following seven consecutive industry-wide quarters of declining activity and pricing. Given that the industry bottomed during the second quarter, the worst of the historical downturn is behind us, and the market is slowly turning. … Leading market indicators continue to show a tightening of the global supply and demand balance, and we anticipate these trends will steadily accelerate. In addition to these fundamentals, potential production discipline by OPEC and Russia should further underpin the strengthening of oil prices, giving rise to increased spending by our customers next year.

We are encouraged by our revenue performance in the third quarter and the fact that our operating income margins improved modestly. With these positive signs, a low cost structure and a repaired balance sheet, we are increasingly confident about our future. Technology and service quality will drive our path forward. Operations is our entire focus. Through innovation, we are further integrating our product line disciplines, which will improve productivity and result in higher capital efficiency.

Capital expenditures of $62 million were down $69 million, or 53%, from the same quarter in the prior year and increased by $31 million, or 100%, from the second quarter of 2016.

Weatherford did not offer guidance, but consensus estimates for the fourth quarter call for a loss per share of $0.21 and revenues of $1.5 billion. For the year, analysts are looking for a net loss of $1.03 and revenues of $5.92 billion.

Shares traded down more than 13% in the noon hour Wednesday, at $5.35 in a 52-week range of $4.71 to $11.49. The 12-month price target on the stock is $7.93.