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Core Laboratories (CLB) Q1 Earnings and Sales Beat Estimates

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Core Laboratories (CLB - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2024 adjusted earnings of 19 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 16 cents. This can be attributed to better-than-expected performance from the Reservoir Description segment. The bottom line was in line with the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

However, this oilfield service provider’s operating revenues of $129.6 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $124 million by 4.5%. The top line increased 0.9% from the year-ago quarter’s level of $128.4 million. This can be attributed to the Reservoir Description segment’s impressive performance.

Core Laboratories Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Core Laboratories Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Core Laboratories Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Core Laboratories Inc. Quote

Segmental Performance

Reservoir Description: Revenues in this segment increased about 5% to $84.2 million from $80.2 million in the first quarter of 2023. The top line also beat our projection of $81.8 million. Operating income increased from $2.5 million in the year-ago period to $6.9 million. This was due to increased demand for reservoir rock and fluid analysis in both international and U.S. markets. However, the figure missed our estimate of $11 million. 

Production Enhancement: This segment’s revenues decreased 5.8% to $45.4 million from $48.2 million in the prior-year quarter. The top line beat our estimate of $42.4 million.  Operating income of $1.6 million missed our projection of $1.9 million due to a decrease in completion activity. The figure also declined from the year-ago quarter’s reported profit of $3.3 million.

Financials and Dividends

As of Mar 31, 2024, Core Laboratories had cash and cash equivalents of $14.9 million and long-term debt of $160.4 million. The company’s debt-to-capitalization was 40.3%.

Operating cash totaled $5.5 million, while capital expenditure amounted to $3.1 million. This led to a positive free cash flow of $2.5 million.

CLB’s board of directors approved a regular quarterly dividend of a cent per share on the company's common stock, payable on May 28, 2024, to all shareholders of record as of May 6, 2024.


For the second quarter of 2024, revenues are anticipated to be in the range of $130-$136 million. Operating income is estimated to be in the band of $14.5-$17.3 million.  EPS is expected between 19 cents and 23 cents.

Reservoir Description revenues are expected to be in the range of $85.5-$88.5 million for the second quarter of 2024, with an operating income of $12.7-$14.4 million.  Production Enhancement revenues are estimated to be in the band of $44.5-$47.5 million during the same time frame, with an operating income of $1.6-$2.6 million. The second-quarter 2024 guidance also assumes an effective tax rate of 20%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, CLB carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  

Investors interested in the energy sector might look at some better-ranked stocks like Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA - Free Report) and SM Energy Company (SM - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy), and Sunoco LP (SUN - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Murphy USA is valued at approximately $8.67 billion. In the past year, the company’s shares have surged 51.1%.

MUSA markets retail motor fuel products and convenience merchandise, operating retail stores under the brands Murphy USA, Murphy Express and QuickChek.

SM Energy is valued at $5.77 billion. The company currently pays a dividend of 72 cents per share, or 1.45% on an annual basis.

SM engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil, gas, and natural gas liquids in the state of Texas.

Sunoco is valued at $5.71 billion. It is a major wholesale motor fuel distributor in the United States, distributing over 10 fuel brands through long-term contracts with more than 10,000 convenience stores, thereby ensuring consistent cash flow.

SUN’s extensive distribution network across 40 states provides a robust and reliable source of income, and the Brownsville terminal expansion should add to its revenue diversification.

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