Oil services company shares fall to 6-month low after adjusted profit beats expectations but revenue falls shy as drilling business misses
Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. tumbled Friday, enough for the oil services company’s third-quarter results to be the most disappointing for investors in 13 years.
Before the open, the company
reported a net loss that narrowed to $82 million, or 6 cents a share, from a loss of $11.38 billion, or $8.22 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share fell to 16 cents from 43 cents, but that was above Wall Street consensus expectations of 13 cents, according to FactSet.
Revenue dropped 38% to $5.26 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $5.40 billion, as drilling and reservoir characterization revenue missed while production revenue beat.
The stock sank 8.8% to $14.97, the lowest close since April 21.
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That’s the biggest one-day, post-earnings drop in the stock since it tumbled 11.0% on Oct. 19, 2007, after the company reported Q3 2007 results.
Chief Executive Oliver Le Peuch indicated in the post-earnings conference call with analysts that the outlook for fourth-quarter is about flat.
“This seems strange, considering incremental costs savings in 4Q, and may be conservatism,” analyst Marc Bianchi at Cowen wrote in a note to clients.
Bianchi said he believes that one of the reasons for the stock’s selloff after earnings is that discussions he had with investors before the results were released revealed a “more bullish positioning” than he expected.
The “incremental information on the outlook” didn’t help, he said.
Meanwhile, the stock had dropped 13.1% in three months through Thursday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund
had tumbled 17.4% and the S&P 500 index
had gained 8.0%.
On the days after the past 53 quarterly reports, including Q3 2007 results and Friday, Schlumberger’s stock has dropped 27 times, for an average decline of 2.6%, according to a MarketWatch analysis of FactSet data and Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
The average gain for the 26 times over that time that the stock rose after results was 4.0%.