Schlumberger Revenue Rises 6%, Cuts 9,000 Jobs on Low Oil Prices


Schlumberger Ltd (NYSE:SLB), the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, said it will cut 9,000 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce, as it focuses on controlling costs in response to a continuing fall in oil prices.

The company took an already announced $1 billion charge in the fourth quarter related to the job cuts and trimming of its seismic business.

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Schlumberger's customers - oil producers - have slashed capital budgets and reduced the number of rigs amid a nearly 60 percent slump in oil prices over the past six months.

Analysts at Barclays said last week oil companies could cut spending on exploration and production in North America by 30 percent or more this year if U.S. crude oil prices hovered around the $50-$60 per barrel range.

"In this uncertain environment, we continue to focus on what we can control. We have already taken a number of actions to restructure and resize our organization that has led us to record a number of charges in the fourth quarter..." Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said.

Schlumberger, which provides drilling technology and equipment, reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates for the tenth straight quarter.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $12.64 billion, mainly helped by an 18.5 percent jump in revenue from North America.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $302 million, or 23 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.66 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.50 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.45 per share, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company raised its quarterly dividend by 25 percent to 50 cents per share earlier on Thursday.

Shares of the Houston-based company rose about 1.1 percent in extended trading. They closed at $76.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Sneha Banerjee and Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)