The leader of the oilfield services group has shown that the segment is once again become deserving of Foolish attention. Oh sure, Schlumberger
The company earned $672 million, or $0.56 per share, versus $938 million, or $0.78 a share in the same quarter a year ago. But if you back out $0.06 in charges for the most recent quarter, the company earned $0.62 a share -- a penny more than Wall Street had expected.
Of Schlumberger's two operating areas, the Oilfield Service group, which accounts for about 90% of total corporate revenues, saw its contribution to earnings decline by 4% sequentially, but they increased 23% year-on-year. Geographically, the company enjoyed strong performances in North America, the Middle East, and Asia, as opposed to sharp declines in the North Sea and Russia, which were brought about in part by inclement weather. And also in the Middle East, Schlumberger and the Iraq Drilling Company have already been awarded contracts by BP
WesternGeco, Schlumberger's seismic unit, recorded a 41% sequential drop in pre-tax segment income, although its year-on-year trend was up 23%. Looking ahead, CEO Andrew Gould noted that higher vessel transits are leading to improved visibility for WesternGeco during the remainder of 2010 and utilization will be higher than expected earlier. Among the projects ahead for the seismic group is the first "multi-azimuth project" offshore Brazil for a group that includes Chevron
As Schlumberger moves toward its proposed merger with Smith International
And he completed his comments by saying, "Finally, I am on record as saying that I felt the international margins would bottom at the end of the second quarter of 2010. I am pleased to report I was mistaken. International margins appear to have bottomed and are now likely to resume a positive trend ..."
That alone convinces me that it's an ideal time to look at scooping up a few shares of Schlumberger for your investment portfolio.