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Drilling Down: Weatherford Earnings Drop

A driller got drilled on Monday, as Weatherford International(WFT Quote) said that its net income slid a gargantuan 89% this quarter, largely due to a steep plunge in drilling rigs and sales in its North American operations.
Net income for the Swiss-based oilfield servicer came to $42 million, or 6 cents per share, compared to $371 million, or 53 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding items brought non-gaap earnings from continuing operations to 10 cents per share, or $69.5 million.
In a press release, Weatherford noted a series of items such as severance charges, costs in connection with ongoing investigations and others involving the company's withdrawal from sanctioned countries.
Global sales fell 11%, while rig count for worldwide operations -- a key metric of health in the oil servicing business -- fell off by 35%. Revenue came to $1.99 billion compared to a year-ago period total of $2.23 billion.
The primary driver for the global sales drop was in North America, where revenues slipped 44% to $571.4 million from $1.01 billion in the year-earlier period. Rig count did a tandem dive with revenues, nosediving in half in the quarter. Though it wasn't enough to offset those losses, overall sales from Weatherford's international operations grew, thanks largely to a 72% jump in Latin American revenues.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipated Weatherford to report EPS at 16 cents on 2.03 billion in sales.

After the announcement this morning, Weatherford shares slipped 8.6%, or $1.70, to $18.23, in early afternoon trading.


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