Schlumberger 2Q profit jumps on strong international results

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil field services firm with principal offices in Paris, Houston and The Hague, reported Friday a 50 percent increase in second-quarter profit on a solid rise in revenue.

The results were boosted by strong international results, especially in Russia.

The company said it recorded a profit of $2.1 billion, or $1.57 a share, for the April-to-June quarter, compared to a profit of $1.4 billion, or $1.05 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter rose 8 percent to $11.18 billion from $10.34 billion a year earlier.

Earnings season: Investors cautious ahead of oil field services second-quarter results

The good results gave the company’s board the confidence recently to approve a $10 billion share repurchase program, which is expected to be completed by 2018.

“In this market, we focus on what we can control,” CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a conference call with analysts and investors.

That means execution and efficiency, he said.

For the first half of the year, profit increased 24 percent to $3.35 billion, or $2.51 a share, compared to $2.7 billion, or $2.02 a share, a year earlier. Six-month revenue rose 8 percent to $21.75 billion from $20.15 billion in the year-ago period.

“Strong Schlumberger second-quarter results were marked by significantly higher international activity, both offshore and in key land markets,” Kibsgaard said.

He said “Russia will be one of our fastest growing markets in 2013.”

Also, he said new technology was deployed in the company’s deep-water activities, which helped its overall results. He noted that the deep-water rig count in the Gulf of Mexico is 17 percent above the level it was before the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

A Schlumberger unit, fluid provider M-I Swaco, was one of the contractors on the undersea well that blew out off Louisiana.

“I am pleased with the overall results and even more so with the consistency throughout our business,” Kibsgaard said.

North America operations were boosted in part by strong deep-water activity, while internationally the company saw strong results in the Middle East and Asia. Bright spots included China, Australia, Saudi  Arabia and Iraq.

Latin America operations were weighed down by seasonal issues.

“We remain comfortable with our plans as well as the actions we have taken to handle the somewhat challenging business environment,” Kibsgaard said of Latin America.