Halliburton shares up after report of 1Q profit

Halliburton Co.’s shares shot up 3 percent Monday after the Houston-based oil field services company posted a  first-quarter profit of $622 million compared with a loss of $18 million for the same period a year ago.

Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), which operates a facility in Fort Lupton, performs hydraulic fracturing for oil companies in Weld County and worldwide. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping fluid at high pressure deep underground to extract oil and natural gas.

Halliburton shares were trading at $62.90 Monday afternoon. During the first quarter, the company repurchased approximately 9 million shares of common stock at a cost of $500 million.

Halliburton’s first-quarter revenue totaled $7.3 billion, a record during the quarter for the company, compared with $7 billion in the first quarter of 2013. Halliburton saw double-digit revenue growth in its Eastern Hemisphere and Middle East/Asia regions.

In its Europe/Africa/Commonwealth of Independent States region, the company recorded revenue and operating income increase of 9 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Latin America revenue and operating income decreased by 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, because of a decline in drilling activity.

Revenue increased 5 percent in North America, though operating income remained flat. The company blamed lower pricing, poor weather and higher costs.

“We are optimistic about the potential for increased activity levels in the second half of the year, and expect North America margins to expand over the remainder of 2014,” chief executive Dave Lesar said in an earnings statement.

The company expects North America margins to approach 20 percent before the year’s end and earnings per share to grow about 25 percent in the second quarter.

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