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Halliburton Falls Despite Beating Estimates

Halliburton topped analyst estimates for both revenues and earnings, but shares fell amid pessimism about the future demand for fossil fuels.
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Halliburton  (HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report shares fell Wednesday even after the oil and gas services company reported stronger-than-expected earnings, amid pessimism about future demand for fossil fuels.

The stock recently traded at $18.96, down 4.3%.

Halliburton reported revenue of $3.45 billion for the first quarter, down 31% from last year, but above the FactSet analyst consensus of $3.36 billion.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled 19 cents, beating analysts’ prediction of 17 cents.

Adjusted operating income totaled $370 million, down 26% from a year ago, but above the analyst consensus of $343.8 million.

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Halliburton posted profit of $170 million, swinging from a loss of $1.017 billion in the first quarter last year.

“I am pleased with our first quarter performance, which demonstrates the benefits of our strong operating leverage in a recovering global market,” said Chief Executive Jeff Miller. He pointed to quarter-over-quarter gains of 7% in revenue and 6% in operating income.

“The first quarter marked an activity inflection for the international markets, while North America continued to stage a healthy recovery,” Miller said. “I expect international activity growth to accelerate, and the early positive momentum in North America gives me confidence in the activity cadence for the rest of the year.”

In other energy news, some experts question the ability of the U.S. to increase the amount of its oil exports going forward.

And Jorge Guira of the University of Reading notes a paradox in the recent rise of oil prices. “Higher oil prices also provide incentives to oil companies to spend more on exploration and production -- a potential step in the wrong direction for achieving net zero emissions.”