Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Stock Climbs in Pre-Market Trading Today Following Asset Sale, Stock Buyback

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chesapeake Energy (CHK) shares are up 4.8% to $19.30 in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the energy company announced a $1 billion share buyback just hours after the company announced a $5 billion asset sale after the closing bell yesterday.

Yesterday the company announced the sale of $5 billion worth of natural gas assets in the Pennsylvania and West Virginia regions. The company sold about 413,000 net acres of land intended for shale exploration including about 1,500 wells that produced about 57,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

CEO Robert Douglas Lawler said that the share repurchase would be used to return capital to its investors as well as pay down the company's debt. The company has about $9 billion in cash reserves.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP (CHK) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP has improved earnings per share by 8.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.68 versus -$1.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.64 versus $0.68).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 228.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $201.00 million to $661.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.71, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.46 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHK Ratings Report
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