Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) said Friday its full-year 2012 revenue increased 14 percent over 2011, driven in large part by the company’s international areas, which recorded their strongest year since 2008.
International areas and the Gulf of Mexico also helped drive the Houston-based company’s fourth quarter results.
“Our results were, however, impacted by the previously announced seasonal slowdowns and contract delays as well as by mobilization and new project start-up costs,” Schlumberger said.
Full-year 2012 revenue increased to $42.15 billion, up from $36.96 billion in 2011. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted revenue of $42.35 billion.
For the fourth quarter, revenue was $11.17 billion, compared to $10.3 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts had estimated revenue of $10.82 billion.
Net income for the quarter was $1.37 billion, or $1.02 per share, down from $1.41 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding charges and credits, Schlumberger reported diluted earnings per share of $1.08, down from $1.10 a year earlier. Analysts had predicted earnings per share of $1.07.
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) chief executive Paal Kibsgaard told analysts on a conference call that he expects the North American rig count to recover somewhat in 2013 but remain lower than it was in 2012.
Mr. Kibsgaard he said he expects 100 to 150 rigs to be added during the first quarter, but that will not be enough to boost the overall rig count above the 2012 average.
However, he added the company expects the number of wells drilled to be "slightly up" from 2012.
Schlumberger expects to cut its capital expenditures overall in 2013, driven by reductions in spending in North America.
Mr. Kibsgaard said the market for hydraulic fracturing services is still oversupplied, and he is "not ready to predict" when margins will turn around for services companies there.
And while onshore oil drilling is expected to pick up, "we do not see a significant recovery in dry gas-related drilling activity," in the U.S., he said.
In China, however, Mr. Kibsgaard said onshore shale gas drilling is growing, with Schlumberger positioned to benefit. He said the shale-gas resource in China has opened the onshore market to foreign services companies that before had mostly worked offshore.