Halliburton's Profit SOARS Despite Gulf Oil Spill, Drilling Ban

Deepwater Has Been Great For Halliburton

Some companies wear controversy like a good suit. Take Halliburton--this morning, the drilling company reported a whopping 83 percent jump in profits in the second quarter. And yes, during the Deepwater Horizon scandal. Revenue rose 26 percet from a year ago to $4.39 billion. Halliburton also added 1,700 employees last quarter, amounting to roughly 57,000 employees worldwide.

Despite its involvement in the Gulf spill -- specifically, Halliburton worked on the Gulf oil rig 20 hours before it burst into flames -- and a moratorium on new offshore drilling projects, Dick Cheney's former company has quickly plugged its own profit gaps during the worst oil spill in history. The ban is expected to shave off only 5-8 cents a share for the next two quarters.

This morning, CEO Dave Lesar told investors and analysts that it has begun deploying Gulf-based employees to its new focus: land drilling operations. The company is also boosting offshore drilling activity in Norway, (via BG Norge), Mexico and Brazil.

"The tragic incident that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent suspension of deepwater drilling, we believe, will usher in a new regulatory climate and will have a profound impact on how deepwater drilling is performed," Lesar said.

Meanwhile, the company ranks only second to Shell in patent-building activities, according to Patent Scorecard. The new technologies will be used to capitalize on untapped markets, the company has said.

All this has led to Halliburton's margins widening from only 3 percent a few quarters ago to pre-recession levels of 21 pecent.

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