Halliburton Co , the world's second-largest oilfield services company, reported a 61 percent drop in quarterly net profit on Friday as a slump in natural gas prices kept many North American drillers on the sidelines.

Third-quarter profit fell to $262 million, or 29 cents per share, from $672 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 26 percent to $3.6 billion.

Excluding $19 million in costs for job cuts, earnings per share of 31 cents topped the 26 cents that analysts on average had forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Matt Daily in New York and Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)