Halliburton Co., a bellwether for the oil-field services industry, said Monday it swung to a fourth-quarter loss as total revenue fell 42 percent. The prolonged slump in oil prices is squeezing demand for its services as oil and natural gas producers scramble to curb expenditures.
Houston-based Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), the second-largest oil-field services company, behind Schlumberger Ltd., reported a loss of $28 million, or 3 cents a share, for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with a year-earlier profit of $901 million, or $1.06 a share.
The Texas company said its fourth-quarter revenue fell to $5.1 billion, down 42 percent from $8.8 billion in the same period in 2014. Revenue from its North American business skidded 54 percent from a year earlier to $2.16 billion as U.S. and Canadian producers curtail some of their activity.
Total revenue for the full year of 2015 was $23.6 billion, a drop of 28 percent from 2014 revenues of $32.8 billion. Halliburton’s reported operating loss for 2015 was $165 million, compared to reported operating income of nearly $5.1 billion for 2014.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected adjusted earnings of 24 cents on revenue of $5.11 billion.
Still, it could be worse, said Halliburton President Jeff Miller. He noted that last year’s 28 percent drop outperformed a 35 percent decline in both the average worldwide rig count and global drilling and completions spend.
“We are pleased with our fourth-quarter and full-year results in this challenging environment, as once again we outperformed our peer group in North America and international revenue,” Miller said Monday in a statement.
Halliburton’s stock fell 1.95 percent to $29.60 after the market opened in New York.
Miller added that Halliburton remains “fully committed” to closing its pending $35 billion acquisition of smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc. But the deal is facing headwinds more than a year after it was announced. The U.S. Justice Department and other global competition authorities are compiling a growing list of antitrust concerns that could threaten the merger, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The oil-field services sector is seeing increasing signs of consolidation due to weak oil prices and a decline in spending throughout oil and gas fields. Halliburton’s rival Schlumberger said late last week it began talks to repurchase its former Iranian unit, Well Services of Iran.
The Houston industry giant said last week it swung to a fourth-quarter loss in 2015 as revenue fell 39 percent to $7.74 billion. Overall, Schlumberger reported a loss of $1.02 billion, or 81 cents a share, compared with a profit of $302 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier.