updated 1/26/2006 7:20:49 PM ET 2006-01-27T00:20:49

Oilfield services conglomerate Halliburton Co. on Thursday said 2005 was the company’s best in its 86-year history, a year anchored by a profitable fourth quarter of strong sales and increased rig activity. The income reversed a loss from a year earlier.

Quarterly profit rose to $1.1 billion, or $2.08 a share, including a one-time tax gain of $540 million or $1.02 a share. That compared to a net loss of $203 million, or 46 cents a share last year, which included a $384 million loss from discontinued operations.

The results widely beat Wall Street’s projections of 89 cents a share on revenue of $5.24 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue for 2005 reached nearly $21 billion, also beating analysts expectations of $20.4 billion.

Halliburton announced earnings after the market closed. The Houston-based company planned to discuss the results Friday morning in a conference call with analysts.

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