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Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL) released its first-quarter results on Monday. Overall, the results were very consistent with the prior year as Halliburton's sales were flat and pre-tax profits were also nearly identical. Per-share earnings of 17 cents, however, were noticeably higher than the five cents per share that Halliburton generated a year ago. The results came in slightly above expectations, but that wasn't enough to get investors excited about the stock as the share price moved just four cents by the end of the day.
There were, however, some differences if we look at the geographic splits. In North America, the company saw a 7% decline in sales while international revenues rose by 11%. While the decline in North America is disappointing, it's encouraging to see the company diversify and grow it sales in other parts of the world.
The company is optimistic that going forward things will be even better as President and CEO Jeff Miller stated in the earnings release that ' We believe the worst in the pricing deterioration is now behind us. For the next couple of quarters, I see demand for our services progressing modestly.'
Although the result effectively maintained the status quo, that may not be a bad thing given the stability we're starting to see in the price of oil, which will lead to stronger growth in future quarters. In 2018, Halliburton saw sales reach highs not seen since 2014 and a full year of oil prices above $60 could produce even stronger results for 2019. Conditions in the industry have certainly improved and with the stock being down 40% over the past 12 months, it could be a great time to buy this top oil and gas stock at a reduced price.