Weatherford (WFT) shareholders ran for the exits Thursday, taking nearly a quarter of the Swiss oil and gas company's market cap with them after CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner unveiled a sharp earnings miss and weak guidance for the rest of the year.
Shares tanked 24% a day after a Weatherford after-market release saying the company booked a first-quarter earnings loss of $0.29 per share, 14% behind analyst forecasts, while sales of $1.59 billion fell below estimates by 5.5%, based on Bloomberg consensus data.
The company also slashed its guidance of much-needed free cash flow for the year on an earnings call with analysts Thursday by $200 million to a range of $400 million to $500 million, which seemed to coincide with Duroc-Danner's imperative to reduce the firm's roughly $7.5 billion debt load.
"This downward revision by $200 million vs. our previous forecast takes into account three parameters: lower earnings by $350 million, partly offset by lower working capital, principally receivables, by $100 million, and lower cap-ex by $50 million," CFO Krishna Shivram said on the call.
Weatherford shares are down 61% over the past 12 months.