HOUSTON – Halliburton Co. said Monday it swung to a net loss of $21 million in the third quarter, due largely to the cash settlement of convertible debt. But the oilfield services provider said operating income topped $1 billion for the first time.
The company's loss amounted to 2 cents per share in the July-September period, in contrast to a profit of $727 million, or 79 cents a share, a year ago.
The most-recent results include a non-tax deductible loss of $693 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, related to the cash settlement of convertible senior notes and a $15 million charge related to the acquisition of WellDynamics.
A violent hurricane season knocked off another 4 cents per share, Halliburton said.
The year-ago results included a favorable income tax benefit of $133 million, or 15 cents a share.
Third-quarter revenue rose nearly 24 percent to $4.85 billion, lifted by increased international business and rising demand in the United States.
Excluding one-time items, Halliburton said its third-quarter net income was $687 million, or 76 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 73 cents a share on revenue of $4.64 billion.
Halliburton, which has corporate offices in Houston and Dubai, said operating income rose to $1.05 billion compared with $910 million a year ago.
Still, Halliburton chairman and chief executive Dave Lesar said a "very successful quarter from an operating standpoint ... has been overshadowed by a severe downturn in global stock markets."
Halliburton shares, following the downward trend of the broader market, have fallen more than 60 percent since the start of the third quarter.
Last week, Halliburton's chief competitor, Schlumberger Ltd., said its third-quarter profit rose about 13 percent, but chairman and chief executive Andrew Gould told analysts the global economic slowdown will affect business in the fourth quarter, namely in North America and some emerging markets.
Oil companies hire service providers like Halliburton and Schlumberger for a variety of well-site jobs that can include seismic tests, directional drilling and reservoir management.
The two service providers and others have benefited in recent quarters from strong demand because of high oil prices, but current prices are about half what they were just three months ago, when they topped $147. Many expect an extended global recession will evaporate the world's appetite for crude.
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