NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Weatherford International (WFT) shares have done pretty well, rising 40% so far this year. That's better than the S&P 500's 27% gain, and better than most of Weatherford's peers in the oil-service business.
But the company built by Bernard Duroc-Danner is not out of the financial woods. It has more than $1 in debt for each $3 in assets, its cash position is poor and its profit margin hovers around zero.
The shares are rising because earlier this month it announced a divestiture plan aimed at reducing debt by $3 billion to $5 billion by the end of 2015. Also, this week the company settled foreign bribery charges, deferring two prosecutions and settling a civil case for $253 million. The company last year had earmarked $100 million to settle some charges.
The sales should cut Weatherford's debt by about half. The fines would nearly wipe out a cash position that stood at $316 million at the end of September.
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