Halliburton's net income more than doubled during the first three months of the year the company said Monday, as drilling activity in North America picked up.
The price for a barrel of oil has jumped 17 percent this year, boosting demand sharply for companies like Halliburton, which provide a variety of services for oil and natural gas drillers.
The Houston company reported first-quarter earnings of $511 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with $206 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 40 percent to $5.28 billion.
After adjusting for a $46 million charge related to international sanctions on oil operations in Libya, Halliburton said it earned 61 cents per share.
Analysts had expected earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of $4.87 billion, according to FactSet.
Halliburton Co. posted a big revenue gains despite a slowdown in offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and political turmoil in North Africa that halted oil production in Libya. The company said an "unabated shift" by the industry to developing oil on land, particularly in underground shale deposits in the U.S., more than offset that decline in activity.
Revenue in North America surged 75 percent in the quarter while revenue from international operations increased 11 percent, according to the company. Completion and production revenue jumped 62 percent to $3.2 billion due to increased drilling activity in the U.S. Drilling and evaluation revenue increased 17 percent to $2.1 billion as activity picked up in the western hemisphere and Iraq.
The rebellion in Libya will continue to hinder oil operations in the country, but overall, Halliburton President and CEO Dave Lesar said those projects will eventually return to normal.
"We remain very optimistic about this market and expect to be profitable in 2011," Lesar said.
Shares increased 31 cents to $47.13 in premarket trading.
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