Halliburton Tops Estimates

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 18th Apr 2011 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
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Halliburton Tops Estimates

Halliburton released its first-quarter results Monday, posting higher-than-expected profits as growth in its North American operations offset a decline in Libya.  Halliburton's oil company customers have increased spending on new projects in order to take advantage of higher oil prices.  The price of a barrel of crude oil surged over the $100 per barrel mark in late February and have continued to rise since as a result of political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

Ongoing turmoil in Libya has prompted the United Nations to impose economic sanctions on the country, leading Halliburton and other oil companies to pull out, leading to a $46 million charge for the company in the quarter.  That charge was expected by analysts, but the tripling of Halliburton's North American profits came as very much a surprise.

Energy insiders are expecting the oilfield services market to tighten in the second half of 2011, as a majority of available capacity is consumed by planned projects.  Halliburton has concurred with that sentiment, adding that it is more heavily exposed to North American markets than its chief rivals, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes.

Halliburton's profit in the first quarter climbed to $511 million, or 56 cents per share, from just $206 million, 23 cents per share, in the same quarter in 2010.  Excluding the one-time charge from its Libyan pull-out, the company would have earned 61 cents per share, beating the average estimate of 58 cents among analysts in a recent Thomson Reuters poll.  The company's revenue, meanwhile, came in at $5.3 billion, topping projections of $4.89 billion.

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