Halliburton, the second-largest oilfield services provider in the world, said its first-quarter profit more than doubled to $511 million or 56 cents per share, compared with $206 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier as revenue climbed 40% to a record $5.28 billion. On an adjusted basis, Halliburton earned 61 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 58 cents on revenue of $4.87 billion.
Texas-based Halliburton (HAL) said the increases were attributable to increased activity in United States land-based drilling, particularly shale formations, helped offset the impact of geopolitical tensions in Libya and the federal government's slow approval process for new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.
''Service intensity in oil and liquids-rich basins is increasing due to the demand for tailored solutions that require more complex fluid chemistry, longer laterals, higher proppant volumes, and strategic placement of frac stages. Going forward, we believe this structural shift will continue through 2011, further increasing demand for our services,'' Halliburton CEO David Lesar said in a statement issued by the company.
Lesar said Halliburton expects Libya to remain challenging in the current quarter, but added that Egypt is returning to normal production levels after its own bout with political unrest. He added that Halliburton is optimistic about Iraq and expects to turn a profit on its operations there this year.
Schlumberger (SLB) the world's largest oilfield services provider, reports first-quarter results Thursday before the open of U.S. markets.