The bottom line, garnered from three-monthly revenues of $7.3 billion, was up on the third quarter’s $604 million from revenues of $7.1 billion.
Halliburton admitted it had been hit by lower activity levels in North America, where the declining US land rig count saw regional quarterly revenues dip from $3.14 billion to $2.97 billion year-on-year.
The Houston-headquartered, New York-listed provider said that there had been an “unusually high post-Thanksgiving decline in activity levels with key customers” in addition to guar cost and price pressure woes.
However, the company said this had been offset by strong growth internationally, particularly in the Middle East and Latin America.
For 2012 as a while, Halliburton earned $28.5 billion in revenues, an increase of 15% on 2011’s $24.8 billion, but net income fell 7.5% from $2.84 billion to $2.64 billion.
Halliburton put shrinking profits down to higher guar costs, price pressure on production enhancement services in North America and a $300 million charge for an estimated loss contingency related to the Macondo disaster.
Chief executive Dave Lesar pointed out that in 2012 “from a revenue perspective, we set new records this year in all of our regions and both of our divisions”.
He said Latin America and the Eastern Hemisphere had both posted rises of more than 10% in revenues, a trend he expected to continue this year, and that other regions were also up.
The company said it expected the North American rig count in 2013 to rise from Q4 but fall from 2012 as a whole, suggesting further profit and revenue dips on the way for the region.
*Bill Lehane, Upstreamonline