Halliburton ( HAL ) Wednesday edged earnings expectations, despite a large charge for an asbestos and silica settlement.

Based on continuing operations, the company had net income of $76 million, or 17 cents a share, vs. $59 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue surged to $5.52 billion from $3.02 billion a year ago, primarily because of government work in Iraq.

But when charges are included, the company lost 65 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with net income of $43 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago. The 2004 quarter reflects a net loss of $141 million, or 32 cents a share, for the asbestos settlement.

Analysts expected a profit of $138.6 million, or 30 cents a share, on revenue of $5.23 billion.

The company energy services group had revenue of $1.8 billion, up $205 million over the first quarter 2003.

The company said its Iraq-related work contributed approximately $2.1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2004 and $32 million in operating income.

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