Schlumberger 3Q16: Turns a Profit, but Profits Down 82% Y/Y

SchlumbergerSchlumberger, the world’s biggest oilfield services company, issued their third quarter update yesterday. It was a mixed bag, with some good news and some not-so-good news. Like Halliburton, their chief rival, Schlumberger turned a profit in 3Q16 (see Halliburton 3Q16 Earnings Surprise: Turns a Profit!). Halliburton made a measly $7 million in 3Q16, while Schlumberger made $176 million. Halliburton went from losing $3.2 billion in 2Q16 to making a $7M profit, while Schlumberger went from losing $2.2 billion in 2Q16 to making $176M. However, if you look at the third quarter for each company compared with a year earlier, Halliburton’s 3Q16 profit was up 113% from 3Q15 to 3Q16 (going from -$53M to +$7M), while Sclumbeger’s profit went down 82% (from +$989M to +$176M). Hence the headlines in the financial press are trumpeting Schlumberger’s 82% decrease. The further good news for Schlumberger is that they maintained their workforce at around 100,000 employees–after having previously axed 50,000 jobs over the past couple of years. CEO Paal Kibsgaard said the o&g industry hit the bottom of the cycle in 2Q16 and Schlumberger (and by extension the industry) “stabilized” in 3Q16…

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