Halliburton Crimped by Legal Costs

But revenue surges as the company cashes in on Iraq.
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Energy-services giant


(HAL) - Get Report

reported lower-than-expected third-quarter net income of $58 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, reflecting losses from asbestos-related legal problems.

Revenue rose more than 39% to $4.15 billion, mostly because of strength in its engineering and construction group, which is involved in reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Third-quarter net income would have been $82 million, or 21 cents a diluted share, were it not for a loss of $34 million, or 8 cents a share, at its bankrupt Harbison-Walker unit.

Thomson First Call estimates were for 28 cents a share.

The company said activity in its oilfield operations continued its gradual increase and cited particular strength in markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Norway and China.

In addition, the company said it took a $77 million charge, or 11 cents a share, for expenses related to an unfavorable court ruling involving one of its subsidiaries.

Halliburton stock closed at $34.08 on Tuesday.

The company forecast fourth-quarter earnings of at least 30 cents a share, excluding any impact from settlements relating to potentially expensive asbestos lawsuits. That's also below analysts' estimates of 35 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.