Halliburton reports small profit in third quarter

October 20, 2016 | Company Operations, Earnings Reports

Houston-Texas, US | – Halliburton, an American multinational corporation and one of the world’s largest oil field services companies, reported Wednesday a tiny profit in the third quarter of this year as the nearly two-year oil bust begins to fade.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the Houston-based company said that it earned 6 million U.S. dollars in the third quarter of the year after losing 3.2 billion dollars in the second quarter.

The company reported revenues of 3.8 billion dollars, essentially unchanged from the second quarter, but down 30 percent from 5.6 billion dollars in the third quarter of last year. Revenues from its North American operations, which account for more than 40 percent of its total business, increased nine percent, but that growth was offset by declines in other parts of the world.

In less than two years, the company has cut around 35,000 jobs, including 5,000 in the second quarter of this year. But the company said on Wednesday that it now has a stable global workforce of about 50,000 workers, about the same as three months ago.

Halliburton’s report began the earnings season for the world energy sector, which seems to have hit rock bottom in the second quarter of the year and started a slow climb back as oil prices have increased to about 50 dollars a barrel and drilling rigs have returned to oilfields.

The U.S. rig count reportedly increased by about a quarter in the three months ending in September.

David J. Lesar, chief executive of Halliburton, was cautiously optimistic about the energy sector’s future, saying that the worst appeared over after the devastation the energy industry faced over the past two years. He said the sector’s recovery is just slowly getting underway, and will not be more visible until next year.

“As we look forward, we expect an increased commodity price to stimulate rig count growth. In the near term, we remain cautious around fourth-quarter customer activity due to holiday and seasonal weather-related downtimes. However, it does not change our view that things are getting better for us and our customers,” Lesar said.