UPDATE 1-Halliburton beats Street on strong international activity
Jan 25 (Reuters) - Halliburton Co, the world's second-largest oilfield services company, reported results that beat analysts' estimates as strong international drilling activity offset a slowdown in onshore North America, sending its shares up 3 percent.
Strong margins in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa helped make up for a 58 percent drop in operating income in North America.
Industry leader Schlumberger Ltd posted better-than-expected results last week, also helped by strong international markets.
Weakness in North American land drilling, caused by a glut of natural gas, is likely to continue this year as oil and gas companies have forecast spending around last year's levels.
U.S. oilfield firms' pricing power has evaporated as depressed natural gas prices push down the number of U.S. rigs targeting gas to a near 13-year low.
"In 2013, we anticipate the North America rig count will improve from fourth quarter levels but will be down slightly compared to 2012," Halliburton Chief Executive David Lesar said in a statement.
Net income from continuing operations fell 35 percent to $589 million, or 63 cents per share. But it beat analysts' expectations of 60 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 3 percent to $7.3 billion, above Wall Street estimates of $7.06 billion.
Shares of the Houston-based company were trading at $38.85 in premarket trading.