Halliburton beats forecasts, lifts dividend

Halliburton beats forecasts, lifts dividend

The company logo of Halliburton oilfield services corporate offices is seen in Houston, Texas April 6, 2012. REUTERS Richard Carson File Photo

On Monday, Halliburton Co's HAL.N fourth quarter adjusted profit doubled from a year ago, beating analysts' forecasts and prompting the oilfield services company to lift its dividend after a rebound in crude and natural gas prices.

U.S. oil prices went up more than 50% last year and have made a strong start to 2022, hovering around $85 a barrel thanks to the global recovery from the coronaviruses and supply cuts by producer group OPEC.

The U.S. rig count went up 68% year-over-year to 586 at the end of the fourth quarter, according to Baker Hughes data.

Schlumberger SLB.N and Baker Hughes BKR.O topped market expectations for fourth quarter earnings last week, with Schlumberger's top executive likening current market conditions to those experienced during the last industry supercycle. The momentum that I have not seen in a long time is what Halliburton Chief Executive Jeff Miller told investors on a call.

The firm said it would increase its dividend to 12 cents, payable on March 23, up from a 4.5 cents dividend previously.

Miller anticipates spending in North America to grow by more than 25% in 2022, and that pricing for hydraulic fracturing will move higher, with incrementals up 30%. He said the company was able to pass along higher prices for trucking, sand and other inputs to customers.

Halliburton estimates the North American completion market is nearing 90% utilization, and said its fleets are currently sold out. Miller told investors that fully electric hydraulic fracturing locations are expected to take up a larger share of the market.

Wall Street analysts said the results were positive, with only a few margins in its Completion and Production unit missing estimates. Miller said that the unit's margins would likely be flat for the current quarter, while the margins in its Drilling and Evaluation unit would be flat to down 50 basis points.

In early trading the company's shares fell by more than 4% to $26.42, after declines in U.S. crude futures fell more than 3% to $82.49.

Halliburton's fourth quarter adjusted net income totalled $320 million, or 36 cents per share, topping Wall Street estimates of 34 cents a share, according to Refinitiv IBES. Net income was $160 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue of $4.3 billion beat analysts' expectations of $4.1 billion.