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    Halliburton Posts 4th Quarterly Loss in Row


The company's US services business performed worst.

by: Joe Murphy

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Halliburton Posts 4th Quarterly Loss in Row

US oilfield services group Halliburton has booked its fourth straight quarterly loss as a result of bearish conditions on the services market, it reported on October 19.

The company, which is the US' biggest hydraulic fracturing provider, sustained a $17mn loss in the three months ending September 30, versus a $295mn profit a year earlier. Its loss was considerably less than the $1.68bn in April-June, when it booked some $2.15bn in impairment charges.

Revenues sank to $2.98bn in Q3 from $5.55bn a year earlier. Turnover from completion and production operations slumped to $1.57bn from $3.5bn a year earlier, while revenues from drilling and evaluation dropped to $1.4bn from $2.04bn.

Halliburton blamed these declines on decreased oil well construction activity, particularly in North America, where Q3 revenues plunged to $984mn from $2.95bn a year earlier. Turnover for operations in Europe, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States (most of the former Soviet Union) fell to $649mn from $831mn, while Latin American revenues were down to $380mn from $608mn.

Commenting on improvements since Q2 2020, Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller said the company had increased its margins in both North America and internationally, and was on track to generate more than $1bn in free cash flow this year.

"The pace of activity declines in the international markets is slowing, while the North America industry structure continues to improve, and activity is stabilising," he said. "We have a strong international business, a lean North America operation, and an efficient capital deployment strategy, all enabled by continued adoption of leading digital technologies that benefit our customers and Halliburton."

Rival Schlumberger similarly reported losses for the third quarter on October 16, owing to weak oil and gas prices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and related economic fallout. The US' other major oilfield services group Baker Hughes is due to publish its results on October 21.

New York-listed shares in Halliburton were initially up after it published its results, which the UK's Hargreaves Lansdown said topped expectations. But they ended on October 19 at 0.65% below the closing price of the previous trading day.