Strong Quarter at Schlumberger - TheStreet

Strong Quarter at Schlumberger

The oil services giant posts gains across the board.
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Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report rose 1% Friday after posting a stronger-than-expected first quarter.

The oil services giant made $1.18 billion, or 96 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from the year-ago $723 million, or 59 cents a share. Revenue surged to $5.46 billion from $4.24 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 90-cent profit on sales of $5.4 billion.

Oilfield Services revenue of $4.76 billion increased 3% sequentially and 28% year on year. Pretax business segment operating income of $1.41 billion increased 6% sequentially and 47% year on year.

WesternGeco revenue of $706 million decreased 2% sequentially but increased 33% year on year. Pretax business segment operating income of $266 million increased 2% sequentially and 79% year on year.

"The colder weather late in the North American winter resulted in natural gas storage levels falling somewhat below those anticipated," CEO Andrew Gould said. "The evolution of Canadian gas production after the lower winter peak rig count and earlier spring break-up, coupled with high decline rates and the poorer quality reservoirs now being drilled in the U.S. leads us to believe that the fundamentals for reinforced natural gas activity in North America are becoming apparent. New equipment capacity, however, particularly in pressure pumping, will limit service pricing power except where new technology brings clear improvements in both the efficiency and productivity of unconventional gas wells."