International Business Looking StrongThe earnings-per-share beat was helped by better operating income in North America, which grew 30% sequentially. Likewise, the company benefited greatly from a 21% surge in its international business, which included double-digit performances across all geographies. This is even though international margins weren't as impressive as in North America -- albeit in line with expectations. Since posting a 5% revenue decline in international business in the third quarter, Halliburton's management has now posted two consecutive quarters of 20% revenue increases in international markets, which affirms that Halliburton is gaining traction against Schlumberger.
Clearly, the company's new focus on international markets is working well --much more quickly than even the company expected. Still, this doesn't erase concerns about prolonged weakness in North America, especially because Halliburton has more North American exposure than both Baker Hughes and Schlumberger.