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Halliburton 4Q results beat Street, led by growth in international operations

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Halliburton's fourth-quarter net income rose 19 per cent, led by growth in its international operations.

The oilfield-services company's results beat Wall Street expectations and its shares rose almost 2 per cent in premarket trading Tuesday.

The Houston-based company earned $793 million, or 93 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with $669 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Income from continuing operations was 90 cents per share. When removing restructuring charges, it was 93 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 89 cents per share

Revenue increased 5 per cent to $7.64 billion from $7.29 billion, with strength in its Middle East/Asia and Europe/Africa/Commonwealth of Independent States regions. The latter region includes countries such as Russia and the Ukraine.

Wall Street expected revenue of $7.55 billion.

North American revenue climbed 2 per cent from a year ago, but dipped 1 per cent when compared with the third quarter. Halliburton said that the sequential performance was hurt by seasonal activity disruptions tied to the weather and holidays.

Halliburton Co. is a big provider of services used in hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," a method of unlocking oil and gas trapped in underground rock formations. Competition has increased for these pressure-pumping services, which has pushed prices down and hurt Halliburton's margins.

A long slump in U.S. natural gas prices has added to the Houston company's challenges by curtailing new drilling and stifling demand for services.

Rival Schlumberger, which reported Friday that fourth-quarter profit rose 22 per cent, is better diversified around the world, with just one-third of its revenue coming from the U.S. Halliburton gets about half its revenue at home.

For the full year, Halliburton earned $2.13 billion, or $2.36 per share. In the prior year it earned $2.64 billion, or $2.84 per share.

Adjusted income from continuing operations was $3.15 per share.

Annual revenue climbed to $29.4 billion from $28.5 billion.

The company said that it expects the average U.S. land rig count to rise modestly in 2014. It anticipates mid-single-digit growth in North American revenue.

The stock rose 94 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $51.60 in premarket trading Tuesday.

The Canadian Press

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