Halliburton Profits Skyrocket On Iraq Deals
By Sheila McNulty in Houston
Halliburton, the second biggest oilfield service company in the world, on Thursday said work in Iraq had boosted revenue as it swung from a loss to record second-quarter net income of $26m , or 6 cents a share, compared with the year-earlier period.
The Houston-based company credited the quarter's 11 per cent rise in revenue, to $3.6bn largely to increased activity in its Engineering and Construction Group (ECG) projects, including government services work in the Middle East.
The second quarter of 2002, to which this past quarter's results were compared, included charges for asbestos liabilities, losses at its Barracuda-Caratinga project in Brazil and restructuring and sales charges.
Halliburton is in the process of finalising a $4bn settlement of asbestos claims. The Barracuda-Caratinga project continues to weigh on its results, with a $173m pre-tax loss on the project in the second quarter of 2003.
Nonetheless, the results this past quarter included a foreign exchange gain of $19m because of a significant strengthening of the British pound against the US dollar during the period.
"We expect earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter to be at least 32 cents per share, excluding any impact of the proposed asbestos settlement," David Lesar, Halliburton chairman, president and chief executive, said.
The company's ECG revenues increased 23 per cent, with government services more than doubling, mainly because of activity in Iraq.
Nonetheless, ECG recorded an operating loss of $148m, narrower than the loss of $450m in the year-earlier quarter.
That was because Halliburton had taken a $330m asbestos charge in 2002 and this year had recorded heightened activity in Iraq.
Halliburton ended the second quarter with cash and equivalents of $1.9bn, up from $1.1bn at the end of 2002.
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