Schlumberger Stock Slips on COO Announcement

SLB stock just flashed a historic bear signal

by Lillian Currens

Published on Feb 8, 2019 at 11:19 AM

The shares of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) are down 1.4% at $42.85, after the oil concern appointed Olivier Le Peuch as its new chief operating officer (COO) this morning. Le Peuch was formerly Executive Vice President Reservoir & Infrastructure. Today, the stock is pacing for its third straight loss and its lowest close since a Jan. 18 post-earnings bull gap. 

From a longer-term standpoint, the equity was in a steady decline since last year's May 17 peak at $75.43 -- suffering a near 54% loss when SLB bottomed out at a 10-year low of $35 in late December. Since then, the shares have attempted a rebound, but have stalled in the face of their 80-day moving average.

In fact, SLB this week came within one standard deviation of its 80-day, after a lengthy stretch below this trendline. Over the past couple of years, there have been five similar tests of this moving average, after which the oil stock averaged a three-week loss of 5.25%, per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.

Nevertheless, the majority of analysts are betting on an extended rebound for Schlumberger. The stock currently has 11 "strong buy" ratings and one "buy," compared to seven "holds" and not a single "sell." Plus, the consensus 12-month target price of $53.85 is a roughly 26% premium to current levels. 

Options traders have been leaning towards bullish bets lately, too. SLB sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.73 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), indicating that traders have bought to open nearly four calls for every put in the past 10 weeks. This ratio sits higher than all other readings for the past year, meaning long calls haven't been more popular compared to SLB puts.

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