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Why Schlumberger Stock Gained 11% in December

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Jan 6, 2020 at 8:33AM

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Rising oil prices lifted shares ahead of its upcoming earnings report.

What happened

Schlumberger (SLB 3.26%) stock outperformed a booming market last month by rising 11% compared to a 3% spike in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The increase wasn't enough to put shareholders ahead of the market for the full year, though, as the stock gained about 10% in 2019 while the S&P rallied higher by 29%.

An offshore drilling platform.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The energy stock announced important news about its management team during the month, with CFO Simon Ayat stepping down to be replaced by Executive VP Stephane Biguet. Yet Schlumberger's rally likely had more to do with the rising price of oil, which lifted most stocks in the sector. December brought an improving outlook on global economic growth, too, which translated into a brightening view about the drilling giant.

Now what

Investors won't have to wait long to learn whether rising oil prices and improving economic trends helped Schlumberger's growth profile. The company will announce its fourth-quarter earnings results on Jan. 22. Most investors who follow the stock are expecting roughly flat sales and profit results, year over year. Shares will likely react more sharply to management's comments about the modest recovery in the oil-field service market and whether that rebound seems set to continue into fiscal 2020.

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