Schlumberger profit falls 19.8 percent on weak North America activity

Schlumberger profit falls 19.8 percent on weak North America activity

(Reuters) – Top oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV reported a 19.8 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, hit by weak demand for its equipment and services from U.S. oil producers under pressure to rein in spending.

FILE PHOTO: The exterior of a Schlumberger Corporation building is pictured in West Houston January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Richard Carson

Schlumberger, a bellwether for the oilfield services sector, said it continues to expect lower investment in onshore North America, with a likely cut to current production growth outlook.

“We also continue to see clear signs that E&P investments are starting to normalize,” Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement, adding that international market would need higher investments to keep production flat.

The company reiterated that investments by oil producers in North America onshore could be down 10 percent in 2019.

The comments come as Brent crude prices have risen about 27 percent in the first-quarter after plunging more than 35 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

Net income fell to $421 million, or 30 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $525 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose marginally to $7.88 billion.

Analysts on average had estimated earnings of 30 cents per share and revenue of $7.81 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of the company, which had risen about 31 percent so far this year, fell 1.3 percent to $46.80 in premarket trading.

Rival Halliburton is expected to post first-quarter earnings on April 22, while General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes is set to post numbers on April 30.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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