NEW YORK (Reuters) - Halliburton Co , the world's second-largest oilfield services, reported higher quarterly profit as drilling activity in its North American market remained strong.

Fourth-quarter net profit rose to $605 million, or 66 cents per share, from $243 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 2 cent per share charge related to former subsidiary KBR's settlement with Nigeria, earnings per share were 68 cents, topping the 63 cents per share that analysts had on average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by Derek Caney)

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