Halliburton Co. said Monday its second-quarter profit soared 83 percent as natural gas drilling activity picked up in the U.S.
The results beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares rose 5 percent in premarket trading.
Halliburton is the first of several companies connected to the Gulf oil spill to report second-quarter financial results. The company, which was hired by BP to seal the Macondo well before it blew up, has seen its stock tumble 17 percent since the April 20 explosion.
The U.S. ban on deepwater exploration will cut into company profits. But Halliburton has been able to boost earnings anyway through its land-based business, particularly operations involving horizontal drilling of shale gas deposits.
The Houston oil and gas service company reported net income of $480 million, or 53 cents per share, for the April-June period, up from $262 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue jumped 26 percent to $4.39 billion from $3.49 billion a year ago.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 37 cents per share on revenue of $4.09 billion.
Completion and production income in North America increased $173 million in the second quarter. Income from drilling and evaluation increased by $38 million in the U.S., primarily because of higher horizontal drilling activity on land.
The government's moratorium on deepwater exploration in the Gulf "will usher in a new regulatory climate and will have a profound impact on how deepwater drilling is performed," said Dave Lesar, Halliburton's CEO, chairman and president.
Halliburton said it is moving people and equipment out of the Gulf, but the suspension of deepwater drilling will cost the company another 5 to 8 cents per quarter in the second half of the year, the company said.
Its shares rose $1.38, or 5 percent, to $28.89 in pre-opening trading.
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