Halliburton Shares Spike On Analyst Upgrade

By Houston Business Journal

Shares of Halliburton Co. got a nearly 4 percent boost Tuesday after analysts upgraded its stock and raised its price target.

Raymond James changed its rating on Houston-based Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) to ⿿Strong Buy⿝ from ⿿Outperform.⿝ The firm also increased its price target on the stock $52 from $49 ⿿on the heels of outstanding 2Q results.⿝

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, shares were up 3.8 percent to $30.27 after having climbed as high as $30.50 earlier in the day.

⿿ HAL's significant North American leverage coupled with its diverse international portfolio position it well for solid earnings growth and strong returns on capital over the next several years,⿝ the analysts wrote.

On Monday, Halliburton shares gained traction after the company said that increased natural gas drilling in the U.S. increased second-quarter profits by more than 80 percent.

Halliburton reported net profit of $480 million, or 53 cents a share for the three months ended June 30, compared to net profit of $262 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter earnings were 52 cents after excluding a gain from discontinued operations.

The stock closed Monday at $29.17, a gain of $1.66 or 6 percent.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2010/07/19/daily18.html?ana=thestreet

Copyright bizjournals.com 2010

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