Schlumberger Warns 4Q EPS Hurt by Delays, N. American Activity

By Matt Egan Energy FOXBusiness

Workers manoeuvre a drill bit at a gas and oil drilling rig in the Patagonian province of Neuquen October 14, 2011. The Patagonia landscape, which was transformed through the discovery of big deposits of hydrocarbons in the 1970s, could experience ... another energy revolution due to forecasts indicating that they could contain the third largest reservoir of unconventional natural gas in the world. Picture taken October 14. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian (ARGENTINA - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) (Reuters)

Oilfield-services giant Schlumberger (SLB) disappointed shareholders on Friday by warning its fourth-quarter earnings will be dragged by contractual delays and slumping land activity in North America.

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Wall Street punished Schlumberger for the dimmed fourth-quarter outlook, driving its shares down 2.98% to $70.40 in premarket action.

Schlumberger said its fourth-quarter profits are set to be hurt by 5 cents to 7 cents a share due to continued contractual delays and higher-than-usual “seasonal slowdowns” in Europe and Africa as well as weaker land activity in the U.S. and Western Canada.

Analysts had been projecting fourth-quarter EPS of $1.13, but those forecasts could be ramped down after the warning issued on Friday.

Schlumberger said it plans to release full fourth-quarter results on January 18.

Earlier this year Schlumberger logged a 9.5% rise in third-quarter profits thanks to overseas drilling strength.