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Schlumberger quarterly profit rises as oilfield services demand recovers

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·2 min read
The exterior of Schlumberger headquarters building is pictured in the Galleria area of Houston
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By Liz Hampton and Arunima Kumar

(Reuters) -Top oilfield firm Schlumberger NV reported a rise in third-quarter adjusted income on Friday, buoyed by higher demand for its services and equipment, as producers capitalize on a rebound in crude prices.

Global oil prices have climbed nearly 64% since the start of 2021 to over $85 a barrel on the back of a vaccine-fueled demand recovery. The worldwide rig count was 1,448 at the end of the third quarter, compared with 1,019 a year earlier, according to Baker Hughes data.

"The industry macro fundamentals have visibly strengthened this year, particularly in recent weeks- with demand recovery, oil and gas commodity prices at recent highs, low inventory levels, and encouraging trends in pandemic containment efforts," Schlumberger Chief Executive Officer Olivier Le Peuch said in a statement, adding he expects those conditions to materially drive investment over the coming years.

Schlumberger reported net income of $550 million, or 39 cents per share, for the quarter, edging past Wall Street estimates of 36 cents each, according to Refinitiv IBES. Revenue of $5.8 billion fell short of analysts expectations of $5.9 billion, but was up 11% year-over-year.

Excluding charges & credits, net income came in at $514 million, or 36 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, higher than $228 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts said the results were positive, pointing to improved higher margins, which topped expectations.

"These results are a wonderful breath of fresh air," analysts for investment firm Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co wrote in a note that called the start to oilfield earnings season "rough".

Rivals Halliburton and Baker Hughes both posted quarterly profit from year-ago losses this week but results were snagged by Hurricane Ida-led disruptions and supply chain woes.

Its shares were flat in pre-market trading at $34.30. They are up 57.12% year-to-date, outpacing gains in Baker Hughes and Halliburton.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and David Evans)