Halliburton more than doubles 1Q profit on boom in North American business

Halliburton Co. said profits more than doubled in the first quarter as a continued boom in onshore drilling in North America more than offset declines related to political turmoil in Northern Africa, delays in Iraq and a slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

Net income rose to $511 million, or 56 cents a share, up from $206 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier, said the oil field services giant, with dual headquarters in Houston and Dubai. Excluding a charge of $46 million related to its suspended operations in battle-torn Libya, the company said it earned $557 million, or 61 cents a share.

Revenue jumped 40 percent to $5.28 billion.

Analysts had forecast earnings of 58 cents on revenue of $4.9 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Halliburton’s stock price was up 11 cents to $46.93 in mid morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Halliburton, the first major oil and gas services firm to report quarterly earnings, attributed higher profits largely to the rise in drilling in the U.S. in shales and other so-called unconventional rock formations, where large natural gas and crude oil deposits have been found in recent years.

Halliburton is a leading provider of hydraulic fracturing services, the chief method used for cracking open such dense rock formations and which involves forcing millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into a well to release oil and gas. 

The company said North American revenue climbed 75 percent while revenue from international operations increased 11 percent.

In a statement, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar said he was “extremely pleased” by the first quarter results.

“North America delivered strong performance as margins progressed due to increased activity while Eastern Hemisphere operating income was significantly impacted by geopolitical events in North Africa, delays in Iraq, and
typical seasonality.”