Halliburton Warns of International Market Weakness

Industries Reuters

(Reuters)

Halliburton, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, on Monday warned of weakness in markets outside of North America, echoing comments made by larger rival Schlumberger last week.

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Halliburton reported a better-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit as oil producers put more rigs back to work in North American shale fields.

Shale producers, encouraged by a rise in crude prices after a slump of more than two years, have been drilling and completing more wells in North America.

"Despite the positive sentiment surrounding the North American land market, it is important to remember that our world is still a tale of two cycles," Chief Executive Dave Lesar said in a statement.

"The North America market appears to have rounded the corner, but the international downward cycle is still playing out."

International markets are yet to recover with most oil companies reluctant to increase spending on expensive deepwater and mature oilfields.

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Net loss attributable to Halliburton widened to $149 million, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $28 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.

The current quarter included impairment and other charges of $169 million, compared with $282 million last year.

Excluding items, the company earned 4 cents per share in the latest reported quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's revenue fell 20.9 percent to $4.02 billion, missing analysts' estimate of $4.09 billion.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)