By Dave Sebastian and Allison Prang
Oil-field-services company Schlumberger Ltd. reported a surprising increase in revenue for the latest quarter, driven by growth in markets outside North America.
Revenue at the Houston-based company rose to $8.54 billion from $8.5 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a similar number from a year earlier. Shares rose 1.4% to $32.44 in midday trading.
Schlumberger Chief Executive Olivier Le Peuch said the company continues to review its U.S. onshore business and that all options are available for its fracking unit. Revenue in North America slumped 11% as production was hurt by a reduction in drilling and fracking.
"[T]his quarter's results reflected a macro environment of slowing production growth rate in North America land as operators maintained capital discipline, reducing drilling and frack activity," he said.
Mr. Le Peuch said he expects shale drilling in the U.S. to slow this year and next because of budget constraints.
"The U.S. production growth rate has declined for the last eight months and is expected to decline further in 2020," he said on the company's earnings call Friday.
Schlumberger's segment including Europe, Africa and Russia posted revenue growth of 13%, while revenue for Latin America and the Middle East and Asia segments increased by single-digit percentages.
"Outside of a recession, the prospect for international activity growth remains firmly in place," Mr. Le Peuch said.
The company reported a loss for the third quarter of $11.38 billion, or $8.22 a share, compared with a profit of $644 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges and credits, earnings were 43 cents a share, compared with 46 cents a share in the prior year. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share.
Schlumberger's loss was due to $12.7 billion in pretax charges, as slumping market conditions forced the company to log two big write-downs related to a pair of acquisitions.
Schlumberger booked an $8.8 billion goodwill impairment, mostly linked to its $12.7 billion acquisition of Cameron International Corp. in 2016 and its $11 billion takeover of Smith International Inc. in 2010. The company also recorded a $1.1 billion intangible asset impairment, with the lion's share tied to the Smith deal, and a $1.6 billion charge it said was related to its pressure-pumping business in North America.
Schlumberger said in September it was expecting to record material noncash impairment charges relating to goodwill and various assets but couldn't determine the amount or range of amounts of the charges.
Christopher M. Matthews
contributed to this article.