Energy Business

How Halliburton Beat Earnings Expectations Despite Challenges

Drilling Rig
Source: Thinkstock
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) reported second-quarter 2015 results before markets opened Monday. The oil and gas services company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.44 on revenues of $5.92 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.91 on revenues of $8.05 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.29 and $5.78 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, the firm posted net income of $53 million ($0.06 per share), compared with net income of $775 million in the second quarter of 2014. In the quarter Halliburton took asset impairment charges of $306 million and added $83 million in costs related to its merger with Baker Hughes. Adjusted operating income totaled $643 million, compared with $1.19 billion in the second quarter of 2014 and $699 million in the first quarter of this year.

Cost cutting, primarily through layoffs, has saved Halliburton’s bacon, just as it saved larger competitor Schlumberger Ltd.’s (NYSE: SLB). In the prior two quarters, Halliburton has fired about 9,000 workers while Schlumberger fired 20,000.

The company did not provide guidance in its earnings release, but the third-quarter consensus estimates call for EPS of $0.27 on revenues of $5.65 billion. For the full year, EPS is estimated at $1.37 on revenues of $24.43 billion.

In the second quarter, North American revenue declined by nearly 25% sequentially and operating income declined dropped from $790 million to $130 million (more than 80%) year over year. The average rig count dropped 40% sequentially. Worldwide the rig count was down 26%.

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The company’s CEO said:

Our strategy remains consistent — we will manage costs through the downturn, while looking beyond the cycle to ensure that we will be positioned for growth when the industry recovers. We continue to invest in technology, build capital equipment, and prepare for our pending combination with Baker Hughes. Our management team has a proven track record in navigating through cycles, and we are confident that Halliburton will be best-positioned to outperform in the recovery.

Halliburton’s stock traded up about 4.6% in Monday’s premarket at $41.81, in a 52-week range of $37.21 to $74.33. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $53.20 before this report.

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