Halliburton signals North America demand recovery after two years

Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:51am EDT
 
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By Swetha Gopinath and Ashutosh Pandey

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote), North America's top oilfield services provider, said it would add fracking equipment and crew to take advantage of higher demand in the region, signaling an industry-wide recovery after a two-year slump.

Shares of the world's No.2 oilfield services provider rose 2 percent to a life-high of $72.20 after the company also raised its share repurchase program to $6 billion from $5 billion.

Halliburton, like global leader Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N: Quote), said while there was no impact on business yet due to the U.S. sanctions against Russia, projects being tendered later this year could be impacted. The country contributes in the "low single digit" percentage to Halliburton's total revenue.

"As tensions potentially escalate and the risk of more sanctions sort of looms, that's what we believe puts some risk into the business in the back half of the year," Chief Executive David Lesar said on a post-earnings call.

Halliburton reported a 20 percent rise in second-quarter profit, meeting Wall Street's expectations, as drilling activity increased in North America.

HIGHER MARGINS

Halliburton, which gets half its revenue from North America, said it expects margins in the region to touch 20 percent in the current quarter, up from 18.2 percent in the quarter ended June 30.

The company's margin in the region was higher than Baker Hughes Inc's (BHI.N: Quote) 12 percent and Schlumberger's 18 percent.   Continued...

 
The company logo of Halliburton oilfield services corporate offices is seen in Houston, Texas April 6, 2012.    REUTERS/Richard Carson