It may have been the result of the months-long drumbeat of negative news from the Gulf of Mexico, but my expectations for Halliburton
Halliburton was the first of the major oilfield services companies to report its latest quarter. It was a good one, with earnings up 83% to $480 million, or $0.53 a share, from $262 million, or $0.29 per share, for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue increased to $4.39 billion, versus $3.49 billion last year. Analysts had arrived at consensus expectations of $4.09 billion in revenues, leading to $0.37 in per-share results.
But perhaps even more important was the information CEO Dave Lesar and other company executives provided about the quarterly performance and the trends likely to affect future activity. The past quarter benefited significantly from higher activity in unconventional gas and oil basins in North America, along with a seasonal recovery in the Eastern hemisphere and improvement in Latin America and Brazil.
Both segments showed significant improvement on a quarterly and annual basis. Operating income from "completion and production" more than doubled from the first quarter, largely because of higher equipment utilization and pricing in the U.S. The "drilling and evaluation" unit increased its operating income by 18% sequentially, largely related to increased horizontal drilling in the U.S.
We can't forget that Halliburton was responsible for cementing BP's
With a parade of rigs already leaving the Gulf, Lesar said, "I do not believe that the deepwater offshore rigs that were mobilized to international locations during this suspension will return to the gulf for some time, if at all." Among those rigs already moving are two Diamond Offshore
All this makes Halliburton even more compelling for this Fool. The big services companies enjoy a mobility that should provide them some protection against an energy world progressively running amok.
Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies named above. Feel free to send him your questions or comments. The Fool owns shares of Devon Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.