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OK, so you're still full of Thanksgiving gobbler and probably thinking about making off with another slice of Grandma's pumpkin pie. Fine, but for just a minute or two, let's talk turkey about energy -- and specifically about a company that I believe can generate big returns for my Foolish friends in the years ahead.

The company I have in mind is Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), the second-largest factor in the oilfield service group behind Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and immediately ahead of Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Weatherford (NYSE:WFT). With energy having demonstrated in spades over the past year that its reputation for cyclicality remains justified, Halliburton shares are currently trading about 70% below their 52-week high. But with OPEC meeting today with an eye toward pushing crude prices higher, we may discover quickly that the company's stock price has descended to an inappropriately low level.

Halliburton operates through two divisions, the drilling and evaluation (D&E) segment and the completion and production (C&P) group. Both assist producers like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) -- along with a lion's share of the world's private and government-controlled oil companies -- in their quest to locate and produce oil and natural gas.

Indeed, with progressively more of the globe's hydrocarbons being found in places that are difficult to get to or technologically challenging, Halliburton's special ability to work in the deepwater, for example, or with oil sand, heavy oil, or shale, should benefit the company meaningfully in the years ahead. In fact, its website includes case histories documenting its technological successes in challenging conditions from Canada's Alberta oil sands to Venezuela's Orinoco River basin and on to Russia.

Halliburton

Metric

Market Capitalization

$15.7B

Forward P/E

6.3

Operating Margin

21%

Return on Equity

27.3%

Operating Cash Flow

$2.6B

Total Debt/Equity

0.37

Forward Dividend Yield

2.2%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Like most of the rest of the oilfield service sector, Halliburton is essentially based in Houston. But CEO Dave Lesar, having recognized the increasing importance of the Eastern Hemisphere to the world of energy, has opened a second headquarters in Dubai. Beyond that, in his ongoing quest to streamline and strengthen his company, Lesar last year completed the spinoff of KBR (NYSE:KBR). KBR is one of the world's premier engineering companies, but it had drawn media criticism on the basis of its work for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In its most recent quarter, Halliburton generated $4.9 billion in revenue and $1 billion in operating income. In the process, it grew its North American revenue by 22% and its top line for the rest of the world by 25%.

But investing is a forward-looking function, and so it's important that we think about how the slowdown in economic and energy activity might affect Halliburton. At this juncture, it generally appears that the systems are "go" for most of the company's major worldwide activities.

For instance, earlier this year, it was announced that Halliburton had been awarded a contract to develop Saudi Aramco's huge Manifa offshore project. Last week, Lesar said that, while its earlier overall revenue targets will be tough to hit in light of current circumstances, Manifa and most of Halliburton's other international projects appear to be on plan. In fact, there appear to be no major changes in projects in Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico.

Nevertheless, the company's CEO did note that, amid the slide in commodities prices, some speculative drilling projects could be delayed slightly. But with a strong cash position and a large untapped credit line, the company is well-positioned to complete meaningful acquisitions during the slowdown.

If, like me, you believe that, for a host of reasons -- some relating to supply and demand and others to geopolitics -- the four-month plunge in energy prices could be surprisingly short-lived, then Halliburton’s stock could be rendered stock awfully cheap at current levels.

Halliburton has been awarded four-star status by Motley Fool CAPS players. Why not weigh in with a thumbs-up vote on the company?

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Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies listed. He does, however, welcome your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy that handles thick oil quite nicely.