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Halliburton Posts Fourth Straight Loss in Q3 as Oil Rout Drags Demand

Halliburton Co, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, reported a loss for the fourth consecutive time in the third quarter as demand slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices have hurt businesses.

The U.S. largest hydraulic fracturing provider reported a net loss of $17 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2020. This compares to a net loss for the second quarter of 2020 of $1.7 billion, or $1.91 per diluted share. Adjusted net income for the third quarter of 2020, excluding severance and other charges, was $100 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.

Halliburton’s total revenue in the third quarter of 2020 was $3.0 billion, a 7% decrease from revenue of $3.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020, the company said.

At the time of writing, Halliburton shares traded 3.55% higher at $12.68 on Monday; however, the stock is down about 50% so far this year.

Its rival, Schlumberger reported a loss for the third consecutive time in the September quarter as a prolonged period of lower crude prices due to COVID-19 disruptions caused clients to suspend drilling activities.

Executive comments

“The pace of activity declines in the international markets is slowing, while the North America industry structure continues to improve, and activity is stabilizing. We have a strong international business, a lean North America operation, and an efficient capital deployment strategy, all enabled by continued adoption of leading digital technologies that benefit our customers and Halliburton,” said Jeff Miller, Chairman, President and CEO.

“We believe executing on our strategic priorities will boost our earnings power reset and free cash flow generation today and as we power into and win the eventual recovery,” concluded Miller.

Halliburton stock forecast

Seventeen analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $15.28 with a high forecast of $22.50 and a low forecast of $11.50. The average price target represents a 21.80% increase from the last price of $12.55. From those 17 equity analysts, five rated “Buy”, 11 rated “Hold” and one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $14 with a high of $20 under a bull scenario and $4 under the worst-case scenario. Halliburton’s stock price forecast has been raised by equity research analysts at Cowen and Company to $20 from $19.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Halliburton, issuing a “market perform” rating and a $14 price objective for the company. Goldman Sachs Group raised Halliburton from a “buy” rating to a “conviction buy” rating in August. HSBC increased their stock price forecast to $13.70 from $9.50 and gave the company a “hold” rating in July.

Analyst Comments

“Outsized exposure to deteriorating North America (NAm) markets impacts Halliburton’s results more meaningfully vs. less exposed peers, in our view, and we continue to see greater downside revision risk for those focused on this market. Few bullets left to offset deteriorating fundamentals: Halliburton is winding down a major cost-cutting program in NAm, which suggests to us its ability to further cut overhead as US activity trends lower is limited,” said Connor Lynagh, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe the company’s exposure to areas in high demand (i.e. Ventilators, Patient Monitoring, CT and X-Ray) puts the company in an attractive risk-reward positioning relative to other companies in our sector over the next 12 months.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Upside: 1) Signs of a bottom in NAm pressure pumping activity and pricing. 2) International contract awards. 3) Bolt-on M&A – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Downside: 1) Further pricing pressure and activity declines, particularly in Nam. 2) Undisciplined project bidding. 3) Failure to deliver on cost savings goals. 4) Commodity price/cyclical risk.

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