Halliburton's Loss Deepens

A worker passes a truck owned by Halliburton at a natural-gas site in Colorado in 2009. ENLARGE
A worker passes a truck owned by Halliburton at a natural-gas site in Colorado in 2009. Photo: Associated Press

Halliburton Co. HAL -1.17 % ’s quarterly loss widened, hurt by drastically lower revenue from its North American business amid the downturn in the energy market, as well as charges from its failed tie-up with Baker Hughes Inc. BHI -2.13 %

On Sunday, Halliburton and Baker Hughes called off their merger, which was once valued at nearly $ 35 billion, after the companies had faced intense regulatory pressure on several continents. They had struck the deal in 2014, but it had appeared especially troubled since April, when the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block it. Baker Hughes on Monday outlined cost cuts and stock and debt buybacks as it looked to pave the way forward in the wake of the deal being scuttled.

Halliburton, the second largest oil-field-services company behind Schlumberger Ltd. and a bellwether for the industry, said Tuesday that revenue in its North American operations skidded 49% from a year earlier to $ 1.79 billion.

For the period ended March 31, Halliburton reported a loss of $ 2.41 billion, or $ 2.81 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $ 643 million, or 76 cents a share. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations were 7 cents a share. Total revenue slid 40% to $ 4.2 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected adjusted earnings of 4 cents a share on revenue of $ 4.16 billion.

The company said it recorded Baker Hughes acquisition-related costs of $ 378 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter.

The company also cited market conditions for the weaker results, with the number of rigs operating declining to historic lows in the face of continued depressed commodity prices, “which created further widespread pricing pressure and activity reductions for the company’s products and services on a global basis.”

Halliburton said it recorded companywide charges related to asset impairments and severance costs of about $ 2.1 billion, or $ 2.39 a share, in the first quarter.

Last month, rival Schlumberger Ltd. said it laid off another 2,000 employees during the first quarter as it reported that earnings for the period dropped 49% on significantly lower sales.

Shares of Halliburton, inactive premarket, have surged 32% over the past three months, easing a 12-month slide to 14%.

Write to Anne Steele at [email protected]


WSJ.com: US Business

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