Halliburton reports $2.1B charge on job cuts, assets
Halliburton Co. booked a US$2.1 billion expense in the first quarter for cutting jobs and writing off assets, giving some results early and delaying the full earnings release as it strives to wrap up a takeover of rival Baker Hughes Inc.
The world’s largest provider of fracking services eliminated 6,000 more jobs in the quarter to reduce costs, according to a statement Friday. The release of its full earnings report is being postponed to May 3 from April 25 because of the deadline to complete the deal with Baker Hughes by the end of this month, Houston-based Halliburton said.
Halliburton, which announced the takeover in November 2014 in a deal now worth about US$25 billion to better compete against industry leader Schlumberger Ltd., is facing a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit to stop the merger on concern it will harm competition. The deal, which would unite the No. 2 and No. 3 oil-services providers, threatens to eliminate head-tohead competition in 23 products and services used in oil exploration and create a duopoly with market leader Schlumberger, the Justice Department said.
Halliburton is seeking the cash-and-stock deal to achieve scale and build a better technology portfolio in a market where the ability to innovate is critical for success.
Halliburton reported an operating loss of US$39 million in North America, its largest region, on revenue of US$1.8 billion, according to the statement. Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil services provider, reported a loss of US$10 million, before taxes, in North America when it reported first quarter earnings on Thursday.
Halliburton called the market for oil service companies in North America unsustainable.