NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chesapeake Energy (CHK) - Get Report stock is spiking by 15.45% to $2.54 in late-morning trading on Wednesday, as the natural gas producer will pay off the $500 million debt due in March after agreeing to sell more than double its planned amount of assets. 

Chesapeake has agreed to divest assets worth $700 million, up from the company's previous target for asset divestitures between $200 million and $300 million. 

For 2016, the company plans to sell additional assets worth between $500 million and $1 billion.

Its capital expenditure budget will range between $1.3 billion and $1.8 billion, down 57% from last year. Chesapeake will lower the amount of drilling rigs working its fields to between four and seven, down from 14 in the fourth quarter and 67 as recently as 2014, Bloomberg reports.

In addition to its upcoming March debt payment, Chesapeake has at least $1.3 billion in debt coming due through 2018, Reuters notes. Earlier this month, the company announced that it hired lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis to to help restructure its debt load and that it has no plans to pursue bankruptcy.

For the fourth quarter, Chesapeake reported a loss of 16 cents per share, beating analysts' estimates for a loss of 17 cents per share. The company reported earnings of 11 cents per share for the year-ago period. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "sell" with a ratings score of D.

Chesapeake Energy's weaknesses include its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHK

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.

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