The Action Alerts PLUS holding reported a loss of $0.15 a share for the quarter. Excluding charges, earnings came in at $0.27 a share, meeting analysts' forecasts. Revenue of $7.1 billion fell from $7.74 billion a year ago but was slightly above expectations.
Following the financial results, SLB shares were down nearly 0.7%, trading at around $86.
"Among the business segments, the fourth-quarter revenue increase was led by the Production Group, which grew 5% due to increased hydraulic fracturing activity in the Middle East and North American land," Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement.
The latest quarter included a $539 million restructuring charge, in addition to a $139 million charge related to Schlumberger's acquisition of Cameron International and currency devaluation in Egypt. Workforce reduction costs accounted for $234 million of the various charges.
For the full year, the oilfield services giant posted a loss of $1.24 a share on revenue of $27.81 billion. Schlumberger's board also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.50 a share, payable on April 17.
Going into 2017, oil prices and production are both poised to increase.
"We maintain our constructive view of the oil markets, as the tightening of the supply and demand balance continued in the fourth quarter, as seen by a steady draw in OECD stocks," Kibsgaard said. "This trend was further strengthened by the December OPEC and non-OPEC agreements to cut production, which should, with a certain lag, accelerate inventory draws, support a further increase in oil prices, and lead to increased E&P investments."
This last piece is key, say Action Alerts PLUS portfolio managers Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr, as Schlumberger "makes it money by serving exploration-and-production companies."
Management expects growth in investments to initially be led by land operators in North American.
"E&P spending surveys currently indicate that 2017 North America E&P investments will increase by around 30%, led by the Permian basin, which should led to both higher activity and a long overdue recovery in service industry pricing," the company stated.
Management also noted, however, that the recovery in the international markets is expected to start off more slowly. Because Schlumberger is tied more closely to the international markets than some of its peers, the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio managers believe this may cause a pause in short-term trading, but selling would be a mistake.
"Selling Schlumberger here is a suckers game because you'll end up buying it at $90," Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Looking beyond the short-term, "the company's ability to offer several different service models, push for more integrated offerings as well as leverage its technology and transformation initiative should all contribute to long-term share gains," Cramer and Mohr say.
More specifically, Cowen and Co. analysts say Schlumberger looks relatively attractive, particularly around the second quarter.
"We also see emerging opportunity to pivot toward more internationally levered stocks, in particular SLB," analysts at Cowen and Co. wrote in a research note Thursday. "While we expect SLB to provide a downbeat outlook for first half of the year, owing to international seasonality and weakness in the Gulf of Mexico, this is somewhat respected and may clear the decks for positive revisions beginning in the second quarter," the analysts continued. Cowen and Co. rates SLB shares at Outperform with a $99 price target.
"My take is," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on Thursday, "if you own it, hold it. Sometimes it trades down after they report and you may get a better chance."
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Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long SLB stock.