Schlumberger thinks the plunge in the oil rig count is near the bottom.
The $100 billion oil-field services giant reported second-quarter earnings on Thursday afternoon that beat on profit but missed on sales.
Importantly, however, the company signaled that it thinks some of the deep cutbacks seen in the oil industry over the last year may be coming to an end.
And as the world's biggest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger is particularly attuned to changes in the industry.
In Schlumberger's second quarter, revenue came in at $9 billion, down 12% year-over-year. Earnings per share came in at $0.88.
Analysts had expected EPS of $0.79 on revenues of $9.05 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Over the last year, the price of oil has declined by about 50%, and the biggest cutback in spending from oil companies has been in the decline in US oil rig count.
During the last seven months, the US oil rig count plunged for 25 straight weeks, following the oil crash. But this has started to turn, and the count has been positive for the last two weeks, following a rebound in oil prices, leading some analysts to believe that we may have seen the bottom.
And Schlumberger agrees, with CEO Paal Kibsgaard saying in the company's earnings release:
"E&P investment in North America is now expected to fall by more than 35% in 2015 driven by lower land activity and increased pricing pressure. We believe that the North American rig count may now be touching the bottom, and that a slow increase in both land drilling and completion activity could occur in the second half of the year."
Earlier on Thursday, Schlumberger announced a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share of outstanding common stock.
In the wake of the oil crash, the company cut nearly 10,000 jobs to trim costs.
The stock is down 27% over the last 12 months, and down 2% for the year. In after-hours trading, the stock rose 1%.
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