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Halliburton Swings to Profit

Revenue blows away estimates.
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(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report

swung to a fourth-quarter profit as revenue rose 12%

The oil services giant said late Thursday that it earned $1.1 billion, or $2.08 a share, compared with a loss of $203 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

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About half of the company's profit was related to reversing a deferred tax asset valuation allowance, which boosted net income by $540 million, or $1.02 a share. The valuation allowance, taken for the company's asbestos and silica settlements, had been established because Halliburton believed it was more likely than not that a portion of the tax benefit associated with the related charge wouldn't be realized.

Subsequently, significant upward revisions of estimated future U.S. taxable income "have made it likely that these tax benefits will be realized."

Excluding the profit associated with the reversal, the company earned $1.06 a share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 89 cents a share in the quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue grew 12% to $5.8 billion, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $5.24 billion. The company attributed growth largely to higher activity in its Energy Services Group, partially offset by lower revenue in KBR primarily on government services projects in the Middle East.

Shares of Halliburton closed Thursday up 91 cents, or 1.2%, to $75.15.