This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 27 at 11:04 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.Chesapeake Energy ( CHK - Get Report) spoke, and investors are likely to listen. After Thursday's close, Chesapeake reported earnings well ahead of expectations for a third quarter that many felt could be a turbulent one for energy companies. In fact, the number was so far above estimates that one investor told me he thought there was a mistake in the press release. There's no mistake: Chesapeake's spate of acquisitions, its ability to harvest natural gas from those properties, and its smart strategy to lock in lofty natural gas prices are beginning to impact the bottom line. This morning's conference call will probably further articulate a strategy that looks to be among the most powerful in the business.
That type of continued drilling growth -- especially given Chesapeake's diverse areas of operations from South Texas to Appalachia -- should support land contract drillers such as Nabors ( NBR - Get Report) and Helmerich & Payne ( HP - Get Report) as well as ancillary service companies such as Halliburton ( HAL - Get Report), Schlumberger ( SLB - Get Report) and BJ Services ( BJS). Chesapeake also hints through action as much as rhetoric that the service market remains tight. Chesapeake has taken a stake in a private well-stimulation and pressure-pumping company as a hedge against oilfield service availability and cost, indicating its belief that services will remain tight for months to come. McClendon's recent savvy in making profitable investments in the oilfield suggest his actions will be carefully watched -- and likely mimicked -- by other investors. If so, these announcements could prove bullish for the services sector. Finally, Chesapeake's acumen in making smart hedging decisions around weather forecasts has become influential. Discussions with the company on Thursday suggest Chesapeake believes we're in store for relatively normal weather when compared to the past 30 years. If true, winter may be modestly colder than the 10-year average, which most traders follow closely. That would be another bullish indicator for natural gas in the coming months. If traders listen to what Chesapeake has to say, these results and the supporting rhetoric may be an inflection point for energy investors.