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Here's Why You Should Sell Schlumberger (SLB) Right Away

Zacks Equity Research

Schlumberger Limited SLB has lost 32% in the past six months and the struggle is likely to continue as the oilfield service player is expecting a tough year for its businesses in North America.   

The six-month pricing chart shows that Schlumberger has underperformed the Zacks Oil & Gas Field Services industry as all stocks belonging to the industry have collectively lost 23.9%. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings per share has been revised downward to $1.74 from $1.97 over the past 30 days.

Currently, the Houston, TX-based company currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Factors Dragging the Stock Down

Schlumberger during its quarterly results announcement revealed that explorers and producers are getting more conservative about investing owing to volatile oil prices. Producers in the American shale resources are not planning to allocate money for drilling new wells this year but will instead possibly allocate capital budget for drilled but uncompleted wells, added Schlumberger.

Conservative spending by explorers and producers is going to hurt demand for the company’s oilfield services in North America. Thus, Schlumberger has set its 2019 capital budget in the range of $1.5-$1.7 billion, lower than last year’s $2.2 billion.

Investors should know that the decline in oil prices through fourth-quarter 2018 and the Permian bottleneck problem probably hurt hydraulic fracturing activities in North America. This led to a sequential decline in the oilfield service giant’s revenues from OneStim hydraulic fracturing activities. Volatile oil prices may continue to hurt hydraulic fracturing businesses, at least in the near term.  

Stocks to Consider

Not all the stocks in the energy space are having a tough time. Investors can energy stocks like RGC Resources Inc. RGCO, TransCanada Corporation TRP and Golar LNG Partners LP GMLP, with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.  

RGC Resources has an average positive earnings surprise of 87.6% for the past four quarters.

TransCanada will likely record earnings growth of 2% in 2019.

Golar LNG is expected to post earnings growth of 11.9% in 2019.

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