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Halliburton (HAL) Beats on Q1 Earnings Despite Weak Oil

Major oilfield services provider Halliburton Company HAL reported better-than-expected results, even as oil prices were weak throughout first-quarter 2016. The outperformance was primarily owing to the company’s deep cost cutting measures.

Earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding one-time items) came in at 7 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 4 cents. However, the company’s per share profits deteriorated from the first-quarter 2015 adjusted level of 49 cents.

After Baker Hughes Inc. BHI and Schlumberger Ltd SLB missed our first-quarter earnings estimates, Halliburton came first among the ‘big 4’ oil service companies to beat our estimates. The other member Weatherford International Ltd WFT is expected to report later this week.

Revenues of $4.2 billion reflect a 40% year-over-year plunge. The figure, however, marginally surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

During the quarter, North America accounted for approximately 42.7% of Halliburton’s total revenue.

First-Quarter Segmental Performance

Completion & Production: Revenues fell 17.9% from the prior quarter and 45.3% from the January-March 2015 figure to $2.3 billion.  

The segment’s operating income was $30 million, exhibiting an almost 79% sequential decline and a 94% year-over-year fall. Severe impact on the North American pressure pumping business impacted the results. Pricing weakness globally hurt the company’s operations across all regions.  

Drilling & Evaluation: Revenues were down from both the sequential and the year-ago quarter figures to $1.9 billion.

The segment’s operating income fell 40% from the December quarter and 21.2% from the year-ago period to $241 million. Lower drilling activities across all regions along with reduced logging operations following the budget constraint of customers globally impacted the results.

Balance Sheet

Halliburton’s capital expenditure in the first quarter was $234 million. As of Mar 31, 2016, the company had approximately $9.6 billion in cash/cash equivalents and $12.2 billion in long-term debt, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 54.1%.  

Merger Termination

Following oppositions from U.S and European regulators both Halliburton and Baker Hughes decided to call off their $28 billion merger agreement. Accordingly, Halliburton is expected to pay Baker Hughes as high as $3.5 billion as termination fees within May 4, 2016. This might disappoint Halliburton’s shareholders.

Zacks Rank

Halliburton currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), implying that to the stock will significantly underperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

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WEATHERFORD INT (WFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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HALLIBURTON CO (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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