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$SLB plans to tackle this year's activity growth without raising CapEx, as it has started to benefit from increased asset utilization. With the counter-cyclical business development program being completed, Schlumberger will now shift focus to project execution. It has also been decided to maintain dividends at the current level for another year.
$SLB has initiated reactivation of equipment to tap the growth potential outside the US. The process will result in an increase in short-term costs, which the company expects to absorb in 1Q18. Schlumberger expects the decline in EPS in 1Q18 to be 2-3% more than the normal seasonal dip, due to the large size of its business in Russia and North Sea.
$SLB said a reduction in tax rate, pursuant to the tax reform, will offset the effect of an estimated 2-3% rise in its effective tax rate this year, due to higher profitability in N. America. The company attributed the $3Bil pre-tax charge incurred in 4Q17 to its exit from the seismic acquisition business and write-down of investments in Venezuela.
$SLB’s 4Q17 revenue growth was driven mainly by a 40% upturn in the Production Group. The Cameron Group registered a 5% growth to $1.41Bil, and Drilling Group revenues advanced 8% to $2.2Bil. Meanwhile, Reservoir and Characterization Group saw revenues falling 2% to $1.64Bil. Region-wise, North America continued to top the list with a 59% growth.
Oilfield technology firm $SLB incurred a huge charge in 4Q17 related to restructuring of its operations in crisis-stricken Venezuela, resulting in a sharply wider loss. Excluding the charge, Schlumberger posted a 78% growth in earnings to $0.48 per share, which exceeded expectations. The upturn was supported by a 15% rise in revenues to $8.2Bil.
$SLB expects its fourth quarter earnings and margin performance to be in line with the levels seen in 3Q17. The expansion of North American activities is seen slowing down next quarter due to multiple reasons including seasonal factors. Going forward, the company will be deploying internally built rigs as part of augmenting its hardware portfolio.
$SLB said the impact on incremental margins from transition-related costs and inefficiencies associated with its North America activities will abate in the coming quarters. In early 2018, Schlumberger intends to start new offshore projects in West Africa, where project planning and tendering reached a two-year high in 3Q17.
After reporting strong third quarter results, $SLB said its debt eased by $12.2Bil. While staying on track to achieve the cash flow generation target, the company expects Capex to be $2.1Bil in 2017. The third quarter revenue growth was led by the production group, with hydraulic fracturing activity in North America being the main contributor.
Highlighting the stability of the region's oil market, $SLB’s North American revenues surged 53% to $2.6Bil in 3Q17, indicating that operations were unaffected by the hurricanes. Meanwhile revenues from Latin America dropped 4%. Revenues from Europe, CIS and Africa were down 2% compared to last year. Middle East & Asia registered 1% lower revenues.
$SLB, the world’s largest oilfield technology firm, reported strong revenue growth in 3Q17 as it expanded market share in key regions in North America. Meanwhile, activity remained flat in other markets. Supported by the 13% annual revenue growth, profit surged to $545MM or $0.39 per share. Adjusted earnings rose to $0.42, in line with estimates.
$MSFT helps $SLB in digitizing their oil and gas drilling business. Schlumberger introduced the DrillPlan, its digital well construction planning solution, which will use Microsoft Azure and the Azure Stack hybrid cloud solution. Microsoft is currently working with Schlumberger on several other apps.
$SLB said it is on track to double its operating revenues in the next two years. In the next 12 months, the company plans investments worth $390MM in Argentina and $700MM in Nigeria. There are also plans to engage partners, through venture funds, for executing various projects, rather than depending solely on cash deals.
Oilfield services provider $SLB expects to record capital expenditure of about $2.2Bil in fiscal 2017. Schlumberger forecasts its US land activity will remain strong throughout the second half of the year. The cyclical nature of the oilfield services industry continues to be the biggest risk being faced by the company.
$SLB repurchased 5.5MM shares of its common stock in 2Q17, at an average price of $72.34 per share. The total purchase price is $398 MM. Schlumberger agreed to acquire a majority equity interest in Eurasia Drilling Company during the quarter. The company also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its common stock.