Schlumberger Limited’s SLB first-quarter 2019 earnings of 30 cents per share (excluding charges and credits) were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, courtesy of contributions from Integrated Drilling Services (IDS) projects in Saudi Arabia, India and Mexico.
The bottom line, however, declined from 38 cents a year ago owing to lower contributions from directional drilling in the land market of North America. Decline in OneStim revenues from the continent’s land regions added to the concerns.
The oilfield service giant recorded total revenues of $7,879 million, marginally higher than the year-ago quarter figure. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7,842 million.
Reservoir Characterization and Production segments saw a year-over-year drop in revenues while the Drilling unit reported an increase.
The decline in contributions associated to wireline services from Russia & Central Asia GeoMarket hurt the Reservoir Characterization segment. In the US Gulf of Mexico, there was a drop in sales of multiclient seismic license, adding to the segment’s woes.
Contributions from IDS projects primarily worked in favor of the company’s Drilling unit. However, the positives were partially marred by a revenue decline from directional drilling in the land market of North America and reduced drilling operations in the Northern Hemisphere.
Decline in OneStim revenues from the land market of North America hurt the Production segment. The results were partly negated by a surge in activities associated to Schlumberger Production Management (SPM) in Argentina, Canada and Ecuador.
Revenues at the Reservoir Characterization unit totaled $1,543 million, marginally lower year over year. Pre-tax operating income declined 4% to $293 million from $306 million in first-quarter 2018.
Revenues at the Drilling unit rose 12% year over year to $2,387 million. Pre-tax operating income was $307 million, up 5% year over year.
Revenues at the Production segment declined 2% from the year-earlier quarter to $2,890 million. However, pre-tax operating income was flat year over year at $217 million.
Revenues at the Cameron segment amounted to $1,174 million, down 10% year over year. Pre-tax operating income dropped 18% from the prior-year quarter to $137 million.
As of Mar 31, 2019, the company had approximately $2,155 million in cash and short-term investments plus $16,449 million in long-term debt. This represents a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 31.2%. Through the March quarter, 2.3 million stocks were repurchased by the oilfield services player.
Schlumberger added that explorers and producers are constrained by the reduction in capacity for borrowings and increase in cost of capital. Also, the explorers are facing constant pressure from investors for higher returns instead of production growth. The headwinds are likely to lower investments by explorers and producers in the land market of North America by 10% through 2019, added the world’s largest oilfield service firm.
The company is, however, expecting an improvement in the international markets where the count of drilling rigs is rising and final investment decisions (FID) for clients’ projects are on the rise. The tailwinds are supporting Schlumberger’s projection of 7 to 8% surge in spending by upstream energy firms through 2019 in international markets.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Schlumberger carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, a few better-ranked players in the energy space are Antero Resources Corporation AR, Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A and ProPetro Holding Corp. PUMP. While Antero Resources sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Royal Dutch Shell and ProPetro Holding carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Antero Resources is likely to see earnings growth of 20% over the next five years.
Royal Dutch Shell is expected to see earnings growth of 8% over the next five years, higher than the industry’s 7.6%.
ProPetro Holding is likely to see 19.5% earnings growth through 2019.
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