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Halliburton Turns in Surprise Q3 Profit On Renewed Activity

Oilfield services provider Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) reported on Wednesday a small net profit for the third quarter, trumping estimates for a net loss, and saying that its North American operations are showing signs of improvement.

Halliburton booked a net income attributable to the company of US$6 million for the third quarter, versus a US$-54-million loss for same period last year. Earnings per share (EPS) came in at US$0.01, compared to a loss per share of US$0.06 for the third quarter of 2015, and to expectations of a US$0.06-loss among 38 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The top line, however, did not look so rosy, and total revenues dropped to US$3.833 billion from US$5.582 billion, just missing a Thomson Reuters estimate of US$3.90 billion.

Halliburton signaled improved results at its North American business, with revenue in the third quarter rising 9 percent on the quarter, as it “took advantage of the rig count growth by increasing utilization, working our surface efficiency model and relentlessly managing costs”.

“This is a step in the right direction as we work to regain profitability in North America,” chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said in the company statement.

It was in July when Halliburton said there were signs that activity was starting to pick up, when it reported a massive loss of US$3.21 billion, or US$3.73 per share, for the second quarter.

Looking ahead, the company sees higher oil prices driving growth in the rig count, but it is cautious over its immediate-term business in the fourth quarter due to downtimes connected with holidays and weather.

Latin America continues to be a headache for Halliburton. It expects its business there to continue to sustain in the short term the impacts of restricted budgets, postponed projects, and rig counts at “historical lows”.

The company expects its fourth-quarter results to be basically flat over the third-quarter figures.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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