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Halliburton posts third-straight quarterly loss on shale slump
[BENGALURU] Oilfield services giant Halliburton posted its third straight quarterly loss on Monday as it took a US$2.1 billion impairment charge to deal with a slump in oil prices and the resulting collapse in drilling by North American customers.
Demand for services offered by Halliburton and rivals Schlumberger and Baker Hughes sank after oil prices collapsed in March, and at around US$40 per barrel they remain at the bottom end of the range that most producers need to turn a profit.
Halliburton reported a net loss of US$1.7 billion, or US$1.91 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of US$75 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
However, the company posted a surprise adjusted profit of 5 cents per share, benefiting from aggressive cost cutting. Analysts had expected a loss of 11 cents, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Halliburton last month slashed it quarterly dividend by 75 per cent, having already cut capital spending forecast to half of last year and targeting other cost reductions of about US$1 billion to shore up cash. Its executives have also taken pay cuts and the company has been laying off workers.