Oilfield services provider Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) rose on Friday, Oct. 18, after beating profit estimates and suggested that global oil demand remains strong.
The company posted net income of $644 million, or 46 cents per share, which topped analysts' estimates by a penny. Revenue of $8.5 billion missed forecasts calling for $8.58 billion, according to FactSet.
Stifel analysts, including Stephen Gengaro, said, "the Drilling group performed well, driving growth internationally and helping offset headwinds in hydraulic fracturing utilization and pricing in the U.S. land market."
Schlumberger said that sequential growth in North America remained positive but slowed from the rates of previous quarters due to takeaway constraints in the Permian that affected hydraulic fracturing activity.
Schlumberger also noted that the oil market tightened in the third quarter as seen by a further draw in global oil inventories and a significant increase in oil prices.
Still, the energy giant, which is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust, said the outlook for global economic growth and oil demand remains strong, and it sees "a need for a multiyear increase in international E&P investment, which is very good news for Schlumberger."
"Through the work we have done over the past four years to expand our external offering and modernize our internal execution platform, we are very well positioned to outgrow the market in the coming upcycle and to generate superior operating margins and cash returns for the benefit of our shareholders," Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement.
Shares of Schlumberger rose about 1% to $59.03 at 1:40 p.m. New York time.
"The foundation is set for everything to go Schlumberger's way, and while it hasn't occurred as soon as we expected, the solid dividend does provide us with a level of compensation," Cramer and the AAP team wrote in a note to subscribers. "Plus, we would not be surprised to see analysts make a call on the bottom because it does appear that Schlumberger's time is approaching. Lastly, we will patiently wait for E&P investment to ramp because, quite simply, industry conditions leave no other choice."
That sentiment was largely echoed by Simmons & Co. analysts Bill Herbert and Ben Carl, who have an Overweight rating on the stock.
"Beyond the next two [quarters], 2019 should be sequentially improved driven by the expectation of double-digit [year over year] international growth and what should be a sequentially improving [lower 48] and setting up for the possibility of major completions activity growth in 2020 due to unrestrained Permian pipeline capacity," Herbert and Carl wrote in a research note on Friday.