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North America Rise Helps Schlumberger Q4 Revenue Top Forecasts

Oil rig

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) reported on Friday fourth-quarter revenues slightly beating analyst estimates, after revenue in North America increased by 4 percent sequentially and international revenue ticked up 1 percent.

Schlumberger’s total fourth-quarter revenues came in at US$7.107 billion, up 1 percent on the quarter and down 8 percent on the year. The figure is slightly up from the US$7.1 billion which 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had projected.

The world’s biggest oilfield services group said that its fourth-quarter net loss was US$204 million, or US$0.15 per share, compared to a loss of US$1.016 billion, or US$0.81 per share, for the fourth quarter last year. Excluding extraordinary charges and items, Schlumberger booked earnings of US$0.27 per share this past quarter, compared to earnings per share (EPS) of US$0.65 for the fourth quarter of 2015. The fourth-quarter 2016 earnings were in line with the average US$0.27 EPS estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Zacks.

Schlumberger - which had said in its Q3 report that it saw signs of North American activity increasing – said today that in the fourth quarter, increased land activity helped North American revenue grow. In addition, the oilfield services provider saw decreased costs of asset ownership and improved operating efficiencies for the well services segment. Land activity increased while offshore activity declined, the group said.

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Outside North America, Schlumberger’s international revenue inched up by 1 percent quarter-on-quarter, with strong growth in the Middle East & Asia, which was largely offset by persisting weaknesses in Latin America and seasonal activity drops in Europe, CIS and Africa.

Looking ahead, Schlumberger expects that the OPEC/non-OPEC supply cut agreement will speed up inventory draws, with a certain lag. This would additionally raise oil prices and lead to higher E&P investments, Schlumberger chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard said.

“We expect the growth in investments to initially be led by land operators in North America, where continued negative free cash flows seem less of a constraint, as external funding is readily available and the pursuit of shorter-term equity value takes precedence over full-cycle return on investment,” Kibsgaard noted.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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