By Arunima Kumar and Liz Hampton
(Reuters) -Halliburton Co’s fourth-quarter adjusted profit doubled from a year earlier, it said on Monday, beating analysts’ forecasts and prompting the oilfield services company to lift its dividend following a rebound in crude and natural gas prices.
U.S. oil prices rose more than 50% last year and have made a strong start to 2022, hovering around $85 a barrel, thanks to the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and supply cuts by producer group OPEC.
That has encouraged producers to ramp up drilling activity, with the U.S. rig count rising 68% year-over-year to 586 at the end of the fourth quarter, according to Baker Hughes data.
“I expect the macro industry environment to remain supportive and the international and North America markets to continue their simultaneous growth,” Halliburton Chief Executive Jeff Miller said in a statement.
Houston, Texas-based Halliburton said it would boost its dividend to 12 cents, payable on March 23, up from a 4.5 cents dividend previously.
Wall Street analysts said the results were positive, with the exception of margins in its completions and production unit, which missed estimates.
The company’s shares were down almost 2.36% in pre-market trading at $26.89 each. U.S. crude futures were down about a half a percent to $84.78.
Halliburton’s fourth quarter adjusted net income totalled $320 million, or 36 cents per share, topping Wall Street estimates of 34 cents a share, according to Refinitiv IBES. Adjusted net income was $160 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue of $4.3 billion also beat analysts’ expectations of $4.1 billion.
Rivals Schlumberger and Baker Hughes topped market expectations for fourth quarter earnings last week.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Susan Fenton)