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Schlumberger (SLB) 4Q Earnings Decline 3.7 Pct, Yet Beat Estimates

 January 18, 2013 08:30 AM

(By Balaseshan) Oilfield services provider Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) reported a 3.7% decline in quarterly earnings due to the impact of seasonal slowdowns, contract delays and new project start-up costs.

Results exceeded Street's expectations, sending its shares up 1.14% in premarket on Friday.

The company said its fourth-quarter results showed continued growth in key markets in addition to typical year-end product, software and multiclient sales.

Earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter were $1.36 billion or $1.02 per share, down from $1.40 billion or $1.04 per share last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations declined to $1.08 from $1.10.

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Revenue increased 8.5% to $11.17 billion, on robust international activity.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $1.07 per share on revenue of $10.82 billion for the fourth quarter.

Reservoir Characterization Group revenue grew 13% to $3.15 billion, while Drilling Group revenue rose 9% to $4.1 billion. Production Group revenue increased 6% to $3.9 billion.

Geographically, International revenue of $7.6 billion, up $409 million or 6% from last quarter, while North America revenue of $3.4 billion, grew by $118 million or 4% sequentially.

Revenue declined by 1% in the Europe/CIS/Africa Area which also saw decreased margins from the seasonal slow-downs in the North Sea and Russia combined with contract delays in North Africa.

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Oilfield Services revenue increased 5% sequentially and 8% year-on-year.

On January 17, the board of directors approved a 13.6% increase in the quarterly dividend. The next quarterly dividend, which will increase to $0.3125 per share, is payable on April 12 to stockholders of record on February 20.

SLB closed Thursday's regular session up 0.20% at $73.37. The stock has been trading between $59.12 and $80.78 for the past 52 weeks.

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