Schlumberger Ltd.'s stock rose 1.4% in after-hours trade Thursday, after the oil services company beat second-quarter profit expectations and provided a somewhat optimistic industry outlook. Net earnings fell to $1.12 billion, or 88 cents a share, from $1.6 billion, or $1.21 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, earnings per share came in at 88 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 79 cents. Revenue fell 25% to $9.01 billion, with North American revenue declining 39% to $2.36 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $9.02 billion and $2.38 billion, respectively. For 2015, the company now expects exploration and production investment in North America to fall by more than 35%, compared with a previous outlook for a decline of more than 30%. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said he believes the North American rig count "may now be touching bottom, and that a slow increase in both land drilling and completion activity could occur in the second half of the year." The stock declined 8.7% over the past three months through Thursday's close, compared with a 0.9% gain in the S&P 500.
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