How Will Halliburton (HAL) Stock Respond To $1.1 Billion Gulf Of Mexico Spill Claims Settlement?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Halliburton Inc. (HAL) are slightly lower at $67.50 after the company today announced that it has reached an agreement to settle a substantial majority of the plaintiffs' class claims asserted against the company as a result of the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

The approximately $1.1 billion settlement, which includes legal fees, is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and will be paid into a trust until all appeals have been resolved in three installments over the next two years.

The company's previously accrued loss contingency provision relating to the multi-district litigation proceedings is currently $1.3 billion.

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The agreement includes the following: Claims against Halliburton that BP (BP) assigned to the settlement class in BP's April 2012 settlement, punitive damages claims against Halliburton by a class of plaintiffs who allege damages to property or associated with the commercial fishing industry arising from the Deepwater Horizon Incident, and affirmation that Halliburton has no liability for compensatory damages to the members of the settlement class in the BP April 2012 settlement.

Payments will be held in the trust, pending the finalization of this settlement which is contingent on final Court approval.

Additionally, the settlement is subject to an agreed-upon level of participation by the current claimants which, if not achieved, allows Halliburton to terminate the agreement.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HALLIBURTON CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HALLIBURTON CO (HAL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Energy Equipment & Services industry average. The net income increased by 20.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $644.00 million to $774.00 million.
  • HAL's revenue growth trails the industry average of 20.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 31.88% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.79% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • HALLIBURTON CO has improved earnings per share by 31.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HALLIBURTON CO reported lower earnings of $2.37 versus $2.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.05 versus $2.37).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that HAL's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.73 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HAL Ratings Report
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