Halliburton shifts focus as income rises in fourth quarter

Halliburton is shifting its emphasis to oil and liquids-rich plays in the US, as net income rose nearly 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Houston-based company posted net income of $906 million, or 98 cents per share, today for the fourth quarter. During the same period in 2010, the company posted net income of $605 million, or 66 cents per share.

Revenues increased to $7.06 billion, a rise of 36.9 percent over the same period in 2010.

“I’m proud to say this was a record year for our company, with revenues of $24.8 billion, operating income of $4.7 billion and with growth, margins and returns that led our peer group,” said Dave Lesar, Halliburton’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “Our business has nearly doubled in size over the last five years, primarily from organic growth.”

The company, one of the top sellers of drilling equipment and hydraulic fracturing services in the U.S., had record revenues in its completion and production, drilling and evaluation divisions, Lesar said.

Halliburton’s annual revenue increased to $24.8 billion in 2011, a 38 percent increase over $17.9 billion in revenue in 2010. It had annual net income of $2.8 billion, or $3.08 per share, in 2011, a hardy 57 percent increase over $1.8 billion in 2010.

While Halliburton expects to continue working in natural gas plays in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and New York, it is following energy companies in moving its focus to liquids-rich plays, where it expects to benefit from higher oil prices.

“The shift towards oil and liquids-rich plays are a direct result of the stability of oil prices and higher operator returns for these resources,” Lesar said. “Completing these wells requires higher levels of service intensity, due to the enhanced fluid and completion technologies and creates an additional opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”

Halliburton fourth quarter earnings