Halliburton Co. posted a 19% jump in third-quarter earnings as record oil prices led to increased exploration spending, resulting in large sales gains, especially in the Middle East and Asia where spending increased 41%. One analyst called the company's revenue growth of 26% outside North America and profit margins of 24% in the Eastern Hemisphere "phenomenal." The oilfield services company reported net income of $727M ($0.79/share) on revenue of $3.93B, up from $611M ($0.58/share) on revenue of $3.39B a year ago. Excluding a $0.15/share gain from the recognition of U.S. foreign tax credits, and a $0.02/share charge related to environmental matters, earnings were $0.66/share, topping the average analyst estimate of $0.64/share Also contributing to the higher earnings were 13% fewer shares outstanding than a year earlier; the company said it bought back 11M shares during the quarter at an average price of $33.71. Halliburton said it is still seeing strong demand for its services in U.S. land-based markets.
Commentary: Schlumberger, Halliburton Poised To Gain On Higher Oil Prices
Stocks to watch: HAL. Competitors: SLB. ETFs: OIH, PXJ, XES
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