Weatherford Lowers Q1 Guidance

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Citing bad weather and rising turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, oil services firm Weatherford International lowered its first-quarter profit guidance to 18 cents a share down from a previous estimate of 27 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 23 cents.

Weatherford (WFT) blamed political events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and to a smaller extent, Yemen and Bahrain as reasons for the reduced profit guidance. The company's operations in Libya, Egypt, Tunisian, Yemen and Bahrain make up about 3% of its worldwide revenue, according to the Associated Press.

Switzerland-based Weatherford also said that principal accounting officer Charles Geer will depart the company at the end of the week. The company also withdrew previous full-year profit guidance of $1.30 a share, saying it cannot offer full-year guidance at this time because of the regional political instability and volatile energy prices.

Earlier this month, Weatherford said it would delay filing its annual report and restate the previous four years of financial results by $500 million due to an error related to a tax issue.

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