Energy Business

Schlumberger Raises Dividend, Cuts 2015 Capex

Paul Ausick

Drilling Rig
Source: Thinkstock
Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) reported fourth quarter and full-year 2014 results after markets closed on Thursday. The oil field services firm reported adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.50 on revenues of $12.64 billion. In the same period a year ago, Schlumberger reported EPS of $1.35 on revenues of $11.91 billion. Fourth-quarter results compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.46 on revenues of $12.72 billion.

For the full year EPS came in at $5.57 on $48.58 billion in revenues, compared with EPS of $4.75 on revenues of $45.27 billion in 2013. The consensus estimates called for EPS of $5.53 on revenues of $48.62 billion.

Fourth-quarter EPS includes one-time charges totaling $1.27 per share or $1.639 billion. Full-year EPS including one-time charges totaled $4.31. All the charges were taken in the fourth quarter.

North American revenue rose 2% sequentially to $4.32 billion and international revenue slipped 1% sequentially to $8.21 billion. Year-over-year fourth-quarter North American revenue rose 19%. International revenue grew 1% year-over-year.

Schlumberger expects to chop capex by 25% in 2015, from 2014 spending of $4 billion to $3 billion.

The company did not provide guidance in its press release, saying it would provide information in a conference call Friday morning. Consensus first quarter estimates call for EPS of $1.25 on revenues of $11.7 billion. For the full year, EPS is pegged at $4.81 on revenues of $46.61 billion.

Earlier Thursday Schlumberger announced a 20% increase to its quarterly dividend, from $0.40 to $0.50 per share. The company also repurchased 12.1 million shares of common stock in the fourth quarter at a total price of $1.1 billion.

The company’s CEO said:

The strength of these results demonstrated the resiliency of our business portfolio in the face of activity challenges in 2014 in Brazil, Mexico, and China; reduced spending in deepwater, exploration and seismic activity; unrest in Libya and Iraq; international sanctions in Russia; and the accelerating fall in the price of oil toward the end of the year. The combination of these headwinds reduced revenue growth by more than $1 billion, or 2%, yet revenue still increased 7% as a result of strong tailwinds in Argentina, Ecuador, Sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and North America that combined with market share gains, drove overall performance.

Shares are up about 0.7% in after-hours trading at $77.15 in a 52-week range of $75.60 to $118.76. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $98.60 before today’s results were announced.

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