1. Aubrey's Apology
The stock fell almost 15% on Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter results that failed to meet analyst expectations. Chesapeake's adjusted earnings were 18 cents per share, a dime less than Wall Street's average estimate, as a result of a glut of natural gas in the market.Nevertheless, while the company failed to clear the Street's bar, good old Aubrey once again exceeded our Dumbest expectations by putting on yet another stellar -- and stupid -- performance. McClendon, who was stripped of his chairmanship by the board Wednesday, apologized "for all the distractions" caused by media reports about his wheeling and dealing. Last week it was discovered that McClendon had personally borrowed over a billion dollars to cover his investments in the company's wells, with some of those loans coming from a group that was also planning to buy Chesapeake assets. That was pretty bad considering Aubrey's history of sketchy financial transactions. However, the most recent Aubrey allegation may be even worse. Reuters reported this week that he was involved in a private hedge fund and was trading oil and natural gas contracts for four years while simultaneously running Chesapeake. Lord Almighty, where does that guy get the energy? We thought he merely collected antique maps as a hobby, but it turns out Aubrey was really spending his downtime acting out his George Soros fantasy. Aubrey attempted to shoot down all the reports, of course, telling analysts on the conference call, "Your mother told you not to believe everything you read or hear for good reason, and that's certainly been the case for the past two weeks." True enough Aubrey. But she also told us that where there is smoke, there is fire. It looks like the SEC is following that logic as well as the company confirmed late Thursday regulators have launched an informal inquiry into both Chesapeake and McClendon. Stay tuned. --Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.
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