Good for our pockets, bad for Halliburton…

October 22, 2008

Anyone who drives a car regularly has noticed that gas prices have fallen pretty sharply over the past month — something that fellow Brandeis grad Thomas Friedman bemoans in his column today because lower prices are likely to have a negative impact on conservation and other habits, such as fewer SUVs on the road.

But Friedman’s not the only one. In the 10Q that it filed yesterday, Halliburton (HAL) was also pretty bummed about falling prices for oil and natural gas because of its negative impact on their business. Actually, they’re more than bummed. In the filing, Halliburton warns that the lower prices could have a material adverse impact on both revenue and profitability. Here’s a snippet:

Forecasted crude oil prices for the remainder of 2008 and for 2009 have dropped substantially in the last month…Any prolonged reduction in oil and natural gas prices will depress the immediate levels of exploration, development, and production activity. Perceptions of longer-term lower oil and natural gas prices by oil and gas companies can similarly reduce or defer major expenditures given the long-term nature of many large-scale development projects. Lower levels of activity result in a corresponding decline in the demand for our oil and natural gas well services and products, which could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and profitability.

Halliburton reported its earnings on Monday before the market opened. And while Chairman and CEO David Lesar was quoted in the press release about his concern over falling prices, it came across as being a much more serious concern in the Q.

We have a few more observations about Halliburton’s Q that will only be available to FootnotedPro subscribers. Other tickers that we’ll be posting about over there include LMT and CAL.

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