Halliburton in spill settlement talks, takes $1 billion hit

Halliburton Co said on Monday it was in court-facilitated talks to settle private claims against it in the trial to determine blame for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill at a well where it performed work, and it took a $1 billion charge before taxes.

"Our most recent offer includes both stock and cash, with the cash components payable over an extended period of time," Halliburton Chief Executive Officer David Lesar said, explaining what amounts to an after-tax charge of $637 million that pushed the oilfield services company to a loss for the first quarter.

"Discussions are at an advanced stage but have not yet resulted in a settlement," he added.

That charge is based on where Halliburton is in the negotiations, Lesar said. [ID:nBwc76sVYa] It is in addition to a first-quarter 2012 charge of $191 million after taxes and $300 million before taxes.

Shares of Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services company, rose 4.5 percent to $38.90 in premarket trading in response to the news.

The company reported a loss of $13 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $635 million, or 69 cents per share.

Excluding the charge and other items, Halliburton reported a profit of 62 cents per share, ahead of the 57 cents that analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 1.5 percent to $6.97 billion, above the average estimate of $6.9 billion.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)