(Adds analyst comment, estimates, share movement)
Aug 28 Energy services firm Hunting Plc
shrugged off a poor start to the year and posted a 2.6 percent
increase in first-half pretax profit, helped by strong demand in
the Gulf of Mexico.
Underlying pretax profit rose to $93.9 million for the six
months ended June 30, from $91.5 million a year earlier.
Hunting, which provides equipment and services to help
extract oil and gas, said revenue rose 4.8 percent to $687.5
Analysts on average had expected a pretax profit of $88.9
million on revenue of $664.5 million, according to Thomson
"We leave our forecasts unchanged pro-tem, but, if its Q2
momentum continues into H2, then we could see modest upgrades in
due course," brokerage Investec said in a note.
Analysts on average expect full-year pretax profit of $203.8
million on revenue of $1.43 billion.
Hunting had warned on first-quarter performance being hurt
by bad weather and project delays in April, but had said it was
comfortable with its outlook for the year.
Hunting, which began as a ship-owning firm started by
Charles Hunting in 1874, raised its interim dividend by 5.2
percent to 8.1 cents.
Shares in the company rose 2.5 percent to 917 pence in early
trade on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by