Halliburton beats estimate on international demand; takes $2.2 billion charge

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday, as higher drilling activity in international markets helped the oilfield services provider blunt a hit from slowing North America that led to a charge of $2.2 billion.

International markets have been a bright spot for oilfield service providers in recent times, as North American oil and gas producers cut back on drilling wells to satisfy investors seeking higher returns.

Halliburton, the largest provider of fracking services in North America, said the impairments included costs related to pressure pumping and legacy drilling equipment units, as well as job cuts.

The company swung to a $1.7 billion loss in the fourth quarter because of the charge. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 32 cents per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 29 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares rose 2.7% in premarket trading to $24.60.

Houston-based Halliburton had several rounds of job cuts, letting go at least 8% of its North American staff last year.

Halliburton said revenue from North America fell over 30% to $2.33 billion, while international markets rose over 10% to $2.86 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Schlumberger, the world’s No. 1 oilfield services provider, also reported lower North America and higher international revenue last week, and forecast even lower spending in North America this year than in 2019.

Halliburton’s total revenue fell 12.6% to $5.19 billion, but beat estimate of $5.10 billion.

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Reuters, 21 Jan, 2020

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