Let's start with dessert first here: Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), the second-largest oilfield services company after Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), spun a terrific quarter from an operating perspective. And given the exaggerated thumping the company's shares have undergone in just the past few weeks, as the world worried about sliding oil prices, I'm convinced those shares should now be high on Foolish energy aficionados' watch lists.

For the quarter, the company increased its revenue by 24%, while operating earnings topped $1 billion for the first time. If you back out some financial engineering noise, per-share earnings were $0.76, three pennies higher than expected. If not for a pair of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, that line would have been another $0.04 greater.

Halliburton's wealth spread itself evenly across the company. In North America, the company's revenue expanded by 22%, based largely on increased unconventional activity in the U.S. and Canada. Internationally, it grew by 25%, beating the company's 20% target. Latin America led the global parade with a 42% year-over-year hike.

But despite these impressive metrics, the company's shares plummeted by nearly 70% from early July through last week. On that basis, CEO Dave Lesar noted that a successful operating quarter had "been overshadowed by a severe downturn in global stock markets."

For Fools like me, with an interest in oilfield service companies' role in the energy business, Halliburton's earnings release details several ways its technology has benefited operators. The company describes how it used its bag of tricks in Canada's Montney shale play, the Canadian oil sands, the deepwater of Brazil, Western Siberia, Abu Dhabi, and the Cooper Basin of Australia, to name but a few.

Energy investors got a lot of good news this week, based on OPEC production cuts and solid results from Halliburton and Weatherford (NYSE:WFT) -- to say nothing of the whipping the sector has received at the hands of Mr. Market since midsummer. Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) are waiting in the wings to report later this week, and I expect strong numbers for both. For my money, it's time to do a cannonball right back into this undervalued slice of the market.

Halliburton has generated four of a possible five stars from Motley Fool CAPS players. Are you one of the nearly 2,700 who've given the company a thumbs-up?

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does, however, welcome your comments. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy puts the pedal to the metal every quarter.