Halliburton gains from surge in North America drilling

Features Reuters

(Copyright Reuters 2017)

Halliburton Co reported quarterly profit and revenue that edged past analysts' estimates as a surge in drilling activity in North America pushed up demand for its pressure pumping and well-construction services.

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U.S. shale producers have been putting more rigs to work, buoyed by oil prices that have stabilized above $50 after a more than two-year slump.

Analysts had sharply lowered their estimates after Halliburton warned last month of higher costs and weak demand in markets outside North America.

The average analysts' estimate for profit dropped to 3 cents per share from 13 cents, while the company on Monday posted an adjusted profit of 4 cents.

The world's No. 2 oilfield services provider said North America revenue rose 24.4 percent, while larger rival Schlumberger said on Friday its revenue from the region increased 27.8 percent.

"North America activity increased rapidly during the first quarter, which was highlighted by our U.S. land revenue growth of nearly 30 percent, outperforming the sequential average U.S. land rig count growth of 27 percent," Halliburton's Chief Executive Dave Lesar said in a statement.

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Net loss attributable to Halliburton narrowed to $32 million, or 4 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $2.41 billion, or $2.81 per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago quarter included charges of $2.77 billion, mainly related to asset impairments.

The company said its revenue rose 1.9 percent to $4.28 billion, inching past the analysts' average estimate of $4.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(This story was corrected to add dollar symbol in last paragraph.)

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)