Halliburton Tops Q4 Earnings Estimate As International Revenues Offset North American Slump

Halliburton followed oil services rival Schlumberger in posting stronger-than-expected fourth quarter profits thanks to solid gains in international markets that offset prolonged slumps in north America.

Halliburton  (HAL) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday as international revenues for the oil services group offset a prolonged slump in north American activity.

Halliburton said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December came in at 32 cents per share, down 22% from the same period last year but 3 cents head of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Halliburton said, fell 6% to $5.2 billion, but again topped analysts' forecasts of a $5.11 billion tally.

North American revenues fell 21% from the previous quarter, Halliburton said, to $2.3 billion, while international sales rose 10% sequentially to $2.9 billion.

Looking into the current calendar year, Halliburton said its sees north American spending from its key customers to continue to decline, but expects international growth improving, 

 “Increased activity, disciplined capital allocation, pricing improvements, and our ability to compete for a larger share of high-margin services should lead to improvement in our international margins in 2020," said CEO Jeff Miller. "  2020 opens a new decade and a new century for Halliburton. We will continue to focus on delivering margin expansion, industry-leading returns and strong free cash flow.” 

Halliburton shares were marked 2% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $24.45 each

Last week, rival Schlumberger NV  (SLB) - Get Report also beat Street profit forecasts as profit margins improved improved 40 basis points from the fourth quarter of last year to 12.8%, even as U.S. crude prices fell from a peak of $77 per barrel in September 2018 to around $63 by the end of last year.  

Halliburton Q4 Earnings graphic