Schlumberger's Offshore Assets Produce 4Q Beat

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), which raised its dividend by nearly 14% late Thursday, reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and sales on Friday as offshore performance excelled.

The Houston-based maker of oil drilling equipment posted net income of $1.36 million, or $1.02 a share, down about 3.5% compared with a year-earlier $1.41 million, or $1.05 a share.

Excluding one-time items, Schlumberger said it earned $1.08, trumping average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by a penny.

Revenue for the three-month period was $11.17 billion, up from $10.30 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $10.82 billion.

For fiscal 2012, the company closed out the year with revenues over $42 billion, up 14% from 2011, with its international areas growing by 16%, their strongest improvement since 2008. Sales in North America were also strong thanks to its robust position in the Gulf of Mexico.

Its shares early Friday were up about 1.5% to $74.43.

Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard said the results, however, were impacted by expected seasonal slowdowns and contract delays as well as new project start-up costs. In North America, activity in Canada was weaker than expected and there was a further softening in the U.S. land markets.

The company earlier this week lifted its dividend by 13.6% to 31.25 cents a share, payable on April 12 to shareholders of record on Feb. 20.