Weatherford steepens losses

28 February 2013 – Weatherford International steepened a quarterly loss as the company continued to struggle with tax issues and its debt load.

The Swiss oil and gas service specialist posted a net loss of $122 million in the three months to December despite posting record $4.05 billion revenue for the period.

That result compared to a $13 million loss on $3.71 billion in revenue in the 2011 quarter.

The company did say that efforts to correct past problems with income tax reporting were still ongoing but another probe into the accounting of an Iraq completion contract had been resolved as of year’s end.

The company recorded $130 million in charges for the quarter including accounting fees and Iraq tax considerations.

Weatherford said it expects activity in its North American segment to remain flat while growth was expected in Latin America, namely Mexico and Argentina, where revenue grew 18% from the 2011 fourth quarter.

Improvements are also expected in Africa, Europe and Russia, Weatherford said.

Russia, Romania and Norway fueled 10% growth from the year-ago quarter.

For the year, the company posted a loss of $778 million, compared with net income of $189 million in 2011.

Net debt stood at $8.33 billion at year’s end 2012, compared to $7.23 billion at the close of 2011.
*Kathrine Schmidt, Upstream

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