International drilling helps Halliburton beat estimates

HOUSTON — Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield services company, reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by robust drilling activity in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Angola.

Halliburton, traditionally dominant in the United States, has been making a big push into internaitonal markets to combat weakness in North America.

Drilling activitiy in North America has fallen due to weak natural gas prices that have intensified competition among oilfield services providers for a smaller number of contracts.

Revenue and operating income increased 13 percent in the Middle East and Asia in the first quarter that ended on March 31.

Revenue in Europe, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) rose 9 percent, while operating income jumped 21 percent.

Halliburton shares up 1.6 percent at $61.90 in trading before the bell Monday. During trading Monday, Halliburton shares were up 2.02% at $62.92 in trading before the bell Tuesday. Up to Thursday’s close, the stock gained 20 percent this year.

Operations in North America were hurt by lower prices for pressure pumping services, higher logistics costs and disruptions in drilling due to harsh weather, according to the company.

Rivals Schlumberger and Baker Hughes also posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday.

Net income attributable to Halliburton was $622 million, or 73 cents per share, compred with a loss of $18 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.

That $18 million loss included a pre-tax charge of $1 billion related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 71 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Halliburton was a contractor for BP, owner of the well that blew out to cause the worst offshore oil spill in the United States.

Revenue rose about 5 percent to $7.35 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $7.24 billion.

Source: Reuters

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