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US: Sale of KBR Bolsters Profit at Halliburton

by Bloomberg NewsThe New York Times
July 24th, 2007

Halliburton, the oil field contractor, said second-quarter net income more than doubled on a gain from selling its government services and construction subsidiary, KBR.

Profit climbed to $1.53 billion, or $1.62 a share, from $591 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier, the company, based in Houston, said yesterday.

Excluding the $933 million gain on the sale of KBR and a $49 million gain on the sale of an investment, the company earned 60 cents a share, up from 47 cents in the 2006 quarter. Revenue rose 20 percent, to $3.74 billion.

Halliburtonís growth in overseas business helped push earnings past expectations, said Dan Pickering, an analyst at Pickering Energy Partners in Houston. The company was expected to earn 56 cents a share excluding the gains, the average of 21 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company has said the Eastern Hemisphere will contribute half of its revenues in the coming year, and the chief executive, David J. Lesar, moved to Dubai in May to head international operations.

Shares of Halliburton rose $1.17, or 3.2 percent, to $37.74.

In April Halliburton sold its stake in KBR, which had become the largest military contractor in Iraq. KBRís work in Iraq, and Vice President Dick Cheneyís former role as a Halliburton chief executive, drew attacks by Democrats in Congress who said that political favoritism helped the company win business from the Bush administration. Mr. Lesar, 54, had said that splitting off the unit was the best way to unlock value at both Halliburton and KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root.

The sale was expected to improve Halliburtonís per-share income, as the company swapped its 81 percent stake in KBR for its own shares held by investors, a move that effectively reduced shares outstanding.

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