NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Statoil ASA (STO) announced on Tuesday that in an effort to reduce costs and restore the energy company's profitability it will cut an estimated 1,100 to 1,500 permanent employees by the end of next year.
The company said the workforce reduction is in an effort to "standardize, simplify, and increase efficiency" across the business.
"We regret the need for further reductions, but the improvements are necessary to strengthen Statoil's competitiveness and secure our future value creation," Statoil COO Anders Opedal said in a statement announcing the job cuts.
Statoil said the employment decision is part of an improvement program that was launched in 2013 as a way to address industry wide costs and challenges to competitiveness which began "well ahead" of the current downturn.
Shares of Statoil are up by 0.19% to $18.16 in mid-afternoon trading on Tuesday.
Statoil is a Norwegian company that focuses on oil and gas exploration as well as other production activities.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates STATOIL ASA as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate STATOIL ASA (STO) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed-some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.69, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, STO has a quick ratio of 1.53, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- 38.24% is the gross profit margin for STATOIL ASA which we consider to be strong. Regardless of STO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STO's net profit margin of -29.70% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $3,614.32 million or 60.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, STATOIL ASA has marginally lower results.
- Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, STATOIL ASA's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: STO Ratings Report