Shares of Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report jumped Friday, amid signs of a broad-market rally, even as the oilfield-services giant cut its dividend for the first time in decades and reported a decline in first-quarter profit.
The stock price rose 3.6% at last check to $14.55 after Schlumberger reported first- quarter earnings per share dropped 17% to 25 cents from 30 cents in the year-earlier period.
The Houston provider of services ranging from oilfield exploration to extraction also reported a 5% drop worldwide in revenue, to $7.5 billion.
Investors could be excused for feeling somewhat relieved that the results could have been worse. Schlumberger's earnings roughly matched the estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research and revenue came in just below Zacks' $7.6 billion estimate.
The energy sector has also received a bump from an agreement between two of the world's top oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, to cut production.
Schlumberger pared its dividend payment 75% to 12.5 cents a share. It was the first dividend cut by the oilfield services behemoth in four decades, according to Bloomberg.
Schlumberger Chief Executive Olivier Le Peuch, in a statement, said the company has decided to focus on conserving cash and bolstering its balance sheet.
Le Peuch noted the oil market is undergoing "simultaneous shocks to both supply and demand."
"The revised dividend supports Schlumberger's value proposition ... while providing flexibility to weather the uncertain environment," Le Peuch said.