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Analyst Blog

Leading oilfield service provider, Halliburton Co. is planning to repurchase roughly 68.0 million stocks – representing around 7.4% of its total outstanding shares as of Aug 20, 2013 – for $48.50 per share.

Halliburton expects to spend roughly $3.3 billion to buy back those shares. In the Dutch auction, 100.2 million shares were offered at $48.50 per share or lower. The company added that, depending on factors like market stock price, economic conditions, financial position of the company and others, Halliburton might purchase extra stocks after Sep 6, 2013. Following the share buyback, Halliburton will be in a position to increase its earnings per share as the outstanding shares will decrease.

Last month, Halliburton reported better-than-anticipated second-quarter 2013 results – the fifth outperformance in the last 6 quarters – supported by robust growth in its international business. Earnings per share from continuing operations came in at 73 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 72 cents.

Houston, Texas-based Halliburton is one of the largest oilfield service providers in the world, offering a variety of equipment, maintenance and engineering and construction services to the energy, industrial, and government sectors. The company operates under two main segments: Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation.

Halliburton is among the top three players in each of its product/service categories and is present in all major hydrocarbon-producing regions of the world.

However, the new environmental regulations for hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in the shale plays could adversely impact the company as it will force Halliburton to reveal the structure of its fluids, and potentially wipe out its competitive advantage in the high-end pressure-pumping market.

Halliburton currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, one can look at oil field services firms like Chesapeake Energy Corp. , Gulfmark Offshore Inc. and Unit Corp. as attractive investments. Chesapeake retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Gulfmark Offshore and Unit Corporation sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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