HOUSTON (AP) – The chairman and chief executive of Schlumberger Ltd., the bellwether oilfield services provider, saw his total compensation fall nearly 31 percent in 2007, despite another year of surging profit, according to an analysis of a proxy statement filed Friday.
Andrew Gould, 61, received compensation valued at $15.9 million in 2007, down from the $22.9 million he got in 2006. The big gulf was due to a year-over-year difference in stock and option awards, according to Schlumberger's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For 2007, Gould received 400,000 stock and option awards valued at $9.1 million when they were granted Jan. 17. A year earlier, he got 800,000 stock and option awards valued at $15 million on the grant date.
The remainder of Gould's 2007 package was similar to 2006, including an identical $2.5 million salary. He also received a $3.75 million performance-based bonus and $591,307 for a variety of perks that included contributions to benefits, retirement and profit-sharing plans.
The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.
The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC.
Gould, Schlumberger's CEO since 2003, was by far the company's highest-paid among the six company executives listed in the report.
The report also says Gould's salary is above the 75th percentile of peer companies chosen by Schlumberger and is regarded by the board as "well-merited based on the company's superior results and increased stockholder value" as well as Gould's strong leadership.
The company, whose principal offices are in Houston, Paris and The Hague, provides products and services such as well completion and seismic technology to oil companies as they explore for new oil and natural gas deposits.
Like rival Halliburton Co. and others, Schlumberger experienced strong demand for services last year as high prices for crude oil spurred exploration and drilling activity worldwide. Its net income rose 40 percent to $5.18 billion, as revenue grew 21 percent to $23.3 billion.
But the news hasn't been all good in recent months. Last month, Schlumberger reported a 22 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit but failed to meet Wall Street expectations.
The company said lower pricing in U.S. land operations and seasonal weather factors contributed to less-than-satisfactory margins in the fourth quarter, and Gould gave a cautious near-term outlook for the sector.
Longer term, however, Gould said the significant number of exploration licenses awarded in the past three years, an expanding rig fleet and increased capital spending budgets are clear indicators of future growth. He told investors and analysts that only a global economic recession that lowers demand could flatten prospective growth.
Schlumberger shares, like others in the sector, have dipped of late amid fears a slowing economy could diminish demand for oil. They were trading Friday at $87.15 a share, down $2.54, or 2.83 percent. The shares have fallen about 13 percent since the first of the year.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.