Halliburton ( HAL) and its newly minted KBR ( KBR) unit each beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations Friday.
Halliburton, the Houston-based oil service company that owns 81% of construction and engineering services giant KBR, said it made $667 million, or 65 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from the year-ago $1.09 billion, or $1.03 a share. Revenue rose to $6.02 billion from $5.57 billion a year earlier. Analysts were looking for a 61-cent profit on sales of $5.9 billion. KBR said it made $43 million, or 28 cents a share, down from the year-ago $48 million, or 35 cents a share. Revenue dropped 8% from a year ago to $2.5 billion, as the U.S. military continued to scale back the construction and procurement activities related to military sites in Iraq. Analysts were looking for a 19-cent profit. "I am pleased to begin a new era for KBR as we expect to complete the separation from Halliburton in the next few months," said KBR chief Bill Utt. "I look forward to heading the transition of KBR to a public company and am focused on execution of our strategies to enable KBR to build on its leadership position in the engineering and construction business." KBR raised $508 million late last year in selling a 19% stake to the public.