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Halliburton's Making Its Way to $50

I'm not suggesting that the worst is over, only that any prolonged weakness in North America is not as dire. In that regard, management deserves a considerable amount of credit for having navigated such a brutal environment, especially for the 15% sequential growth in operating income, which outperformed Schlumberger by 2%.

It wasn't a blowout quarter, not by any stretch. But the company did what it had to do to beat both on revenue and earnings estimates. There's not much more that an investor can ask for, especially given the overall state of this industry. Investors should also be encouraged by the fact that the company announced a $5 billion share buyback program, which indicated an increase level of confidence by management that the worst is over.

I wouldn't expect that capital commitments of that size would have been made if management was worried about preserving the cash to battle the weakness in, say, North America. What's more, the $5 billion stock repurchase program, which now goes along with the company's 39% dividend increase (announced in April), makes Halliburton one of the best shareholder-friendly stocks on the market. It is clear that management is committed to returning value to investors.

That level of commitment is tough to overlook, especially with management now posting better operational results, which also coincides with sustained growth in international markets.

The bottom line is that regardless of the industry's direction, Halliburton is going to be around for a very long time. Given the fact that the oil services industry has yet to fully rebound, I believe now is the perfect time to buy the stock, which is a sure bet to reach $50 per share.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Saintvilus is a co-founder of StockSaints.com where he serves as CEO and editor-in-chief. After 20 years in the IT industry, including 5 years as a high school computer teacher, Saintvilus decided his second act would be as a stock analyst - bringing logic from an investor's point of view. His goal is to remove the complicated aspect of investing and present it to readers in a way that makes sense.

His background in engineering has provided him with strong analytical skills. That, along with 15 years of trading and investing, has given him the tools needed to assess equities and appraise value. Richard is a Warren Buffett disciple who bases investment decisions on the quality of a company's management, growth aspects, return on equity, and price-to-earnings ratio.

His work has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Forbes, Motley Fool and numerous other outlets.

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