Schlumberger Posts Sharp Rise in Fourth-Quarter Profit

Schlumberger saw a 71% jump in quarterly profits, buoyed by strong demand for its oilfield services.

The company said Friday it earned $1.13 billion, or 92 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $660.6 million, 54 cents per share. Earnings beat the Thomson Financial consensus of 85 cents per share.

Revenues rose 33% from the year-ago period to $5.35 billion, well above expectations for revenues of $5.14 billion.

Investors will be looking closely to see whether falling oil and natural gas prices have slowed down drilling activity.

When Schlumberger reported its third-quarter results in October, the company said drilling activity had slowed in Canada, but not in the U.S.

A warm winter has weakened the demand for heating oil and natural gas, resulting in lower prices for the two commodities.