Halliburton 4Q Net Beats the Street

Industrials Reuters

Halliburton Co, the world's second-largest oilfield services company, posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said its revenues would grow faster than oil and gas companies would drill this year.

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Still, the company said its costs were rising, and that the industry shift away from dry gas and toward oil and natural gas liquids resources would hit its first-quarter earnings.

"We believe that reduced productivity and increased costs resulting from this relocation will be a short-term disruption for us and that the impact we saw in the fourth quarter will continue into 2012," Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Lesar said in a statement.

Halliburton's comments came as Chesapeake Energy Corp , the nation's No. 2 natural gas producer, said it would cut back on drilling in dry gas areas as prices for the natural gas slumped to 10-year lows.

Halliburton is the U.S. market leader in pressure pumping, which is used in the hydraulic fracturing process to extract oil and gas from shale.

That technology has opened up vast new fields for production, but created a glut of natural gas that could keep prices low for years.

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Its fourth-quarter profit rose to $907 million, or 98 cents per share, from $607 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Halliburton earned $1 a share, compared with the average analyst estimates of 99 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 38 percent to $7.1 billion.

On Friday, larger rival Schlumberger reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, but gave an uncertain view of how this year will pan out.

Halliburton's shares, which fell 15 percent in 2011, were down less than 1 percent in premarket trading.

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