The stock price is still high - with a P/E ratio of 26, investors pay more for earnings from Schlumberger than they do for its competitors, suggesting that the company has already incorporated a fair amount of optimism regarding 2007 and returns in the future. Any production deficit could cause a downward correction in stock price.
With both Chevron and Exxon Mobil expecting lower earnings in the last quarter of 2008, Schlumberger plans to cut up to 10% of its 70,000 workers worldwide amid less demand for oil services. The layoffs are in an effort to cut costs, which increased 19% in the fourth quarter of 2008 as profits fell 17%. These massive layoffs indicate that Schlumberger management believes that demand for oil services will remain low in 2009.