Halliburton Shares Surge 24 Pct.
DALLAS (AP) _ Shares of oilfield-services provider Halliburton Co. surged 24 percent on Thursday, a day after the company reported surprisingly small costs related to asbestos-liability lawsuits.
Shares rose $2.63 to $13.43. On Wednesday, before release of the earnings report, the shares gained 55 cents.
The stock has been hammered in recent months _ it had lost 72 percent of its value in a year _ because of concern about the company’s liability for thousands of asbestos-related claims. The company lost several verdicts late last year and its potential liability was about $150 million in those cases.
Company officials have said they have won many asbestos cases, and they vowed to appeal those they lost.
The company reported Wednesday that net income rose to $139 million in the fourth quarter _ compared to $5 million a year earlier _ even though revenue remained virtually flat. The big difference was that a year ago, the company paid nearly $200 million in pretax charges for restructuring and cost overruns on several projects.
Net income was reduced by $2 million, or 1 cent per share, due to asbestos-related lawsuits.
Yves Siegel, a senior analyst with Wachovia Securities, said the company was doing well at handling the asbestos lawsuits. He said the company’s threats to fight claims in court was putting Halliburton in good shape settle claims for ``very reasonable″ amounts.