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Halliburton reports hefty second-quarter profits

NEW YORK — Halliburton Co. says its second-quarter profit soared 83 percent as natural gas drilling activity picked up in the U.S.

Halliburton is the first of several companies connected to the BP oil spill to report second-quarter financial results. The company, which was hired by BP to seal the Macondo well before it blew up, has seen its stock tumble 17 percent since the April 20 explosion.

The Houston oil and gas service company reported today it earned $480 million, or 53 cents per share, for the April-June period. That compares with $262 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.

It says revenue jumped 26 percent to $4.39 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of 37 cents per share on revenue of $4.09 billion.

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