Oilfield Giant SLB Beats Wall St. Q4 Estimates

(Reuters) – SLB SLB.N beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Friday, driven by strong demand for drilling services and equipment from operators as oil and gas prices remained elevated amid tight supplies. 

SLB benefited from increased oil drilling and production activity in both North America and internationally last year. Revenue from North America rose 27% to $1.63 billion in the reported quarter, while international revenue jumped 26% to $6.2 billion.

Brent oil prices are currently around $86.24 a barrel, and averaged around $84 a barrel for the quarter, up from close to $79 a barrel the same time last year. The average international rig count for the quarter stood at 1,872, nearly 22% higher than the previous year.

“Global upstream spending projections continue to trend positively. Activity growth is expected to be broad-based, marked by an acceleration in international basins,” Olivier Le Peuch, SLB’s chief executive officer, said, adding a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions in China would also be supportive this year. 

He anticipates higher service pricing as capacity in the sector remains tight. 

Formerly called Schlumberger, the top oilfield services firm’s net income excluding items stood at $1.03 billion, or 71 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with analysts’ estimate of 68 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data. 

Shares were roughly flat in pre-market trading at $57.38 each. They’re up 55% from a year ago. 

SLB’s North America revenue becomes a shining spot

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