Nov 12 Oilfield services company Weatherford
International Ltd posted a drop in quarterly
pre-tax earnings on Monday as it booked charges for lower
inventory value and for professional fees related to its massive
tax remediation efforts.
That process, which has already led to hundreds of millions
of dollars of additional expenses for the past five years, had
forced the company to delay filing its second-quarter accounts
with U.S. securities regulators until the end of November.
Weatherford also gave an estimate on Monday for
fourth-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents, compared with the
average analyst estimate of 28 cents according to Thomson
Its third-quarter operating earnings grew in all regions
except North America, where they fell 16 percent from a year
Last month, larger rival Schlumberger Ltd relied on
its broad geographic reach to beat third-quarter profit
estimates, though Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc
both fell victim to the knock-on effects of the North
American natural gas glut on services pricing.
Weatherford, based in Switzerland, is reporting earnings on
a pre-tax basis because it is still working through the
"material weakness" in its internal controls over tax reporting.
The company said it plans to file accounts for the first
nine months of this year, along with restated numbers for
several periods before that, by the end of this month.
Weatherford made a third quarter pre-tax profit of $191
million, down from $270 million a year before. Excluding a $29
million charge for reducing the carrying value of inventory, $27
million for the tax-related fees and two other items, the
company made $264 million, down from $288 million a year before.
Revenue increased 13 percent to $3.82 billion, short of the
average estimate of $3.9 billion.
For the second quarter, Weatherford restated earnings to
include $589 million in non-cash goodwill impairment charges in
its Middle East and African regions and a $204 million writedown
of certain investments.
Excluding all charges, the company said it had made a
pre-tax profit of $146 million in the second quarter. That
compares with the before tax and pre-charges profit figure of
$276 million it reported in July.