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Heckmann posts 4Q profit, plans to change name

NEW YORK (AP) -- Drilling services company Heckmann Corp. said Monday that it turned a profit in the fourth quarter after acquiring Power Fuels, and forecast strong revenue in 2013.

Shares of the company, which also plans to change its name to Nuverra Environmental Solutions, rose 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Heckmann's fourth-quarter net income came to $5 million, or 3 cents per share. It reported a loss of $2.5 million, or 2 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue more than doubled, to $113.2 million from $51.7 million, as the October-December period included one month's contribution from Power Fuels.

Analysts expected Heckmann to post a loss of 3 cents per share on $110.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., company provides energy companies with water for fracking, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing. In this process, companies inject a pressurized mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the earth to fracture shale formations to access oil and gas. Heckmann also treats the wastewater generated during the process.

Production of oil and natural gas has been rising in the United States because drillers have learned to tap once-inaccessible reserved trapped in shale formations with new techniques such as fracking. That's led to lower U.S. prices for oil and natural gas.

The company said Monday that a recent increase in oil prices made it more optimistic about its customers increasing drilling this year, which would lead to higher demand for its services.

Heckmann reported net income of $2.5 million, or 2 cents per share, in 2012. It took a loss of $23 million, or 20 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue more than doubled, to $352 million.

It expects revenue to more than double again in 2013, to $750 million to $825 million. Analysts were forecasting $756.6 million on average.

Heckmann shareholders will vote on the proposed name change at the company's annual meeting, which is scheduled to be held on May 8. Assuming they approve, the name change will take effect in mid-May. The company's stock ticker would change to "NES" from "HEK."

Shares rose 13 cents to close at $3.71 Monday and jumped 38 cents to $4.08 in after-market trading. Shares have dropped 22 percent over the past 12 months.