UPDATE 1-Weatherford targets 30 pct North America margins
* Weatherford says North America margins now around 20 pct
* CEO also sees return to 25 pct margins in rest of world
* Shares extend early gains, up 3.8 pct in afternoon trade
NEW ORLEANS, March 28 (Reuters) - Weatherford International Ltd WFT.VX(WFT.N), the world's fourth-largest oilfield services company, expects it will eventually return to 30 percent operating profit margins in North America.
Chief Executive Bernard Duroc-Danner said he could not give a timeframe for the improvement, which would represent a rise of 10 percentage points from current profitability in the region, including the company's key Canadian market.
Shares of Weatherford added more than 15 cents to their early gains, and were trading 3.8 percent higher at $21.66 in Monday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Weatherford also anticipated an eventual return to 25 percent operating margins outside North America, the CEO told investors at the Howard Weil Energy Conference on Monday. He could not give a timeframe for that either, but it would represent a doubling of where the margins were late last year.
The company, founded in Texas but now based in Switzerland, has been shifting its focus in the past few years to the Eastern Hemisphere, where Duroc-Danner said the "oomph" in oil and gas production was. (Reporting by Braden Reddall; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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