UPDATE 2-Halliburton tops estimates on foreign oilfield strength

Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:34am EDT
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* Shares down 2 pct after rivals perform even better

* CEO sees likely increase in client spending in 2014

By Braden Reddall

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Buoyant oilfield activity in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Angola helped Halliburton Co narrowly beat expectations on Monday with a 17 percent rise in third-quarter profit, but its shares slipped since its main competitors did even better.

The world's second-largest oilfield services company has been chasing opportunities outside its traditionally dominant U.S. market to better take on larger rival Schlumberger Ltd , which also topped estimates with quarterly profits.

"Our Eastern Hemisphere growth continues to lead our peer group," Halliburton Chief Executive Dave Lesar said. "Consistent with prior years, we expect the fourth quarter in the Eastern Hemisphere to be our strongest quarter of the year due to seasonal year-end software and equipment sales."

The international expansion has come at a cost. Lesar said the company has invested close to $1 billion in recent years in a new Singapore facility and technology centers in Houston, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Third-quarter net profit rose to $706 million, or 79 cents per share, from $602 million, or 65 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 5 percent to $7.47 billion.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company reported earnings of 83 cents per share, a penny above analysts' average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.   Continued...