Schoeller-Bleckmann Falls After Deepwater Drill Gear Orders Drop

Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG, the Austrian maker of directional drilling gear used to tap deepwater oil, fell in Vienna trading after orders receded and a proposed dividend failed to meet expectations.

The stock dropped as much as 2.7 percent to 80.57 euros, the worst performer on the 20-member Austrian Traded Index, and traded at 80.75 euros at 12:16 p.m. The Ternitz-based company proposed a 1.50 euro dividend, below the 1.70 euro payout forecast in data compiled by Bloomberg.

The order intake “points to a decline of sales from 2013,” according to a note from Baader Bank analyst Christine Reitsamer, who advised investors to sell the stock. Fourth-quarter orders dropped 31 percent to 85 million euros ($110 million), she wrote.

Recently customers have sought to “optimize their capital expenditures and inventories as they tend to invest more in repairing tools than purchasing new equipment,” the company said in a statement. While the trend to repair rather than replace gear has continued into the first quarter, oil prices over $100 a barrel “will further drive demand.”

Schoeller-Bleckmann has benefited from rising oil prices that have pushed companies to extract crude from hard-to-reach places. The company is expanding its Austrian manufacturing capacity to meet demand for its drilling gear from deepwater platform operators and shale-oil miners.

Schoeller-Bleckmann’s full-year 2012 net income rose 43 percent to 76.2 million euros after sales jumped 25 percent to 512 million euros.

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