Halliburton beats on fourth quarter profit, makes tax provision

Halliburton Co (HAL.N) posted a much bigger than expected quarterly profit in the fourth quarter, benefiting from a shale-driven surge in U.S. oil production towards 10 million barrels per day.

Shares in the oilfield services provider rose around 1 percent in premarket as the company posted a profit of 53 cents a share, beating average analyst estimates of 46 cents per share, as per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also made a $1.05 billion provision for income tax payments chiefly related to recently-passed changes in U.S. corporate taxation.

Like cross-town rival Schlumberger (SLB.N) last week, the company sounded upbeat about the health of the U.S. oil industry.

“I am optimistic about what I see in 2018,” CEO Jeff Miller said in a statement.

“Commodity prices are supportive of increasing activity in North America and I am encouraged by the increase in tender activity and the positive discussions we are having with our international customers.”

Halliburton, which makes about 55 percent of its revenue from North American operations, said revenue rose to $5.9 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $4.02 billion last year. Revenue in North America came in at $3.4 billion, up from $1.8 billion last year.

Schlumberger last week beat Wall Street forecasts and gave an upbeat outlook, predicting its international operations would grow in 2018 for the first time in four years.