Energy Business

Schlumberger Earnings Down Nearly 60%

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) reported first-quarter 2016 results after markets closed on Thursday. The oil field services firm reported adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 on revenues of $6.52 billion. In the same period a year ago, Schlumberger reported adjusted EPS of $1.06 on revenues of $10.25 billion. First-quarter results compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.39 on revenues of $6.51 billion.

The environment for oil field services companies, at least for Schlumberger, was among the toughest since crude prices began their tumble in the fall of 2014. Schlumberger completed its acquisition of Cameron International Corp. on April 1st, and announced two additional acquisitions in late March.

Revenue dropped 36% year-over-year in the first quarter driven by a continuing decline in rig activity and persistent pricing pressure throughout global operations that also suffered from activity disruptions and project delays and cancellations.

North America revenue fell 25% sequentially as U.S. onshore rig count declined 31% following customer budget cuts. By the end of the quarter, the U.S. land rig count had fallen to around 400, representing a drop of 80% from the peak of October 2014. International revenue declined 13% due to a combination of customer budget cuts, activity disruptions, seasonal winter slowdowns, and continued pricing pressure.

CEO Paal Kibsgaard said:

In this environment, our overall outlook for the oil markets remains unchanged with the tightening of the supply-demand balance expected to continue during the rest of the year. Although new exports from Iran and growing global oil inventories drove oil prices lower earlier in the quarter, prices have rebounded to around the $40 level, due to underlying market trends, supply disruptions and talks about a production freeze. … In the midst of a deepening downturn that has already entered its seventh quarter, we are still optimistic and confident about the medium term outlook for Schlumberger. Our unmatched ability to generate cash in the oilfield services industry allows us to capitalize on a variety of significant business opportunities while continuing to return cash to our shareholders through dividends and stock buy-backs.

During the first quarter Schlumberger repurchased 7.1 million shares of stock at an average price of $67.34 per share for a total cost of $475 million.

The company did not provide additional guidance in its press release, saying it would provide information in a conference call Friday morning. The consensus estimates for the first quarter call for EPS of $0.35 on revenues of $7.02 billion. For the full year, EPS is pegged at $1.57 on revenues of $27.9 billion.

Shares traded down about 03% in after-hours trading at $80.05 after closing at $80.27. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.60 to $95.13. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $84.59 before Thursday’s results were announced.