Halliburton Company (HAL) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter revenues Monday as a surge in global oil prices helped boost international drilling activity and offset rising costs in North America.
Halliburton said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March came in at 23 cents per share, down around 44% from the same period last year but largely in-line with analysts' forecasts. Group sales, however, were little changed at $5.7 billion and topped the Street consensus estimate of $5.53 billion as North American drilling activity increased put pricing headwinds accelerated. International revenue, Halliburton said, rose 11% to $2.5 billion.
"Our results for the first quarter played out as we expected and I'm pleased with how our organization executed both in North America and internationally. We continued to collaborate with our customers to engineer solutions that maximize their asset value," said CEO Jeff Miller. "Halliburton is well positioned to navigate the near-term and thrive in the long run. We will achieve that through responsible capital stewardship, prioritizing capital efficiency, investing in the technologies that deliver differentiation, and generating strong cash flow and returns."
Halliburton shares were falling 0.4% to $31 in midday trading Monday.
Global oil prices tested six-month highs Monday amid reports that the United States is set to lift waivers on the purchase of Iranian crude next week, a move that would add to supply concerns in a market already reeling from OPEC production cuts.
The Iran waivers are the latest in a series of events that have choked global supply and lifted prices from the 18-month nadir they reached on Christmas Eve. Since the, Brent crude has gained 45.6% and U.S. oil prices have surged 54%.
OPEC, along with allies such as Russia, have reduced their collective output by around 1.98 million barrels per day from the levels recorded in October of last year, while U.S. sanctions on the sale of crude from Venezuela has reduced that country's exports by around 310,000 barrels per day.