Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Schlumberger is the largest oilfield services player in the world with presence in every energy market. The firm's third quarter results showed that its international business, which constitutes a major portion of revenues, is finally starting to turn around. The company is a leading provider of technology for complex oilfield projects outside North America, enabling it to take up new offshore projects. In fact, the company is expecting more drilling activities to ramp up in the offshore resources. Moreover, the firm has been persistently rewarding shareholders with higher dividend yield than the industry over the past 15 years. However, the pipeline bottleneck problem in the Permian Basin has been hurting the firm’s operations in U.S. shale plays. Moreover, Schlumberger’s rising project startup costs, stemmed from new developments outside North America, is concerning. Therefore, the stock warrants a cautious stance.”

SLB has been the topic of a number of other reports. Tudor Pickering lowered shares of Schlumberger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. HSBC upgraded shares of Schlumberger from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Sunday, December 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Schlumberger from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on shares of Schlumberger from $82.00 to $71.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, UBS Group reduced their target price on shares of Schlumberger from $92.00 to $75.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Schlumberger has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $74.50.

NYSE:SLB opened at $43.04 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $61.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.69, a PEG ratio of 4.39 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 1.13. Schlumberger has a 12-month low of $41.87 and a 12-month high of $80.35.

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 19th. The oil and gas company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $8.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.57 billion. Schlumberger had a negative net margin of 2.00% and a positive return on equity of 6.55%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.42 EPS. Analysts forecast that Schlumberger will post 1.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 4th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.65%. Schlumberger’s payout ratio is currently 133.33%.

In other news, CFO Simon Ayat sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.60, for a total transaction of $3,396,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 234,008 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,244,852.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.48% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Schlumberger by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 108,726,647 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $6,623,627,000 after purchasing an additional 735,605 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors increased its position in Schlumberger by 62.5% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 33,296,194 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $2,028,404,000 after purchasing an additional 12,810,020 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Schlumberger by 5.3% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 31,019,971 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,889,738,000 after purchasing an additional 1,558,478 shares in the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC increased its position in Schlumberger by 3.0% during the 3rd quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 19,795,280 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,205,928,000 after purchasing an additional 576,149 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its position in Schlumberger by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 16,257,242 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $990,391,000 after purchasing an additional 331,671 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.74% of the company’s stock.

Schlumberger Company Profile

Schlumberger Limited supplies technology products and services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry worldwide. The company's Reservoir Characterization Group segment provides reservoir interpretation and data processing services; open and cased-hole services; slickline services; exploration and production pressure and flow-rate measurement services at the surface and downhole; software integrated solutions, such as software, consulting, information management, and IT infrastructure services; consulting services for reservoir characterization, field development planning, and production enhancement; and petrotechnical data services and training solutions, as well as integrated management services.

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