Halliburton Inc. shares rose 0.6% in premarket trade Monday, after the company reported better-than-expected adjusted profit and revenue for the first quarter. The company had a net loss of $643 million, pr 76 cents a share, in the quarter, after a profit of $622 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, the oil giant had adjusted EPS of 45 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 37 cents. Halliburton booked an $823 million charge in the three month period to cover asset writeoffs, inventory writedowns, asset impairments, severance costs and other charges. The oil giant also took a Venezuela currency devaluation loss of $199 million and a $35 million charge related to the acquisition of Baker Hughes. "North America experienced an unprecedented decline in drilling activity during the first quarter, which drove pricing pressure and margin compression across all product lines," Chief Executive Dave Lesar said in a statement. Revenue fell to $7.1 billion from $7.3 billion, but was above the FactSet consensus of $6.9 billion. Shares are up 19.2% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.2%.
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