Chesapeake Energy Shares Rally As Analysts Welcome First-quarter Earnings

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. rallied 5.5% Friday in a rebound from their prior-day lows, as analysts weighing in on first-quarter earnings were mostly upbeat. The stock was battered Thursday by a sharp slide in oil prices and a miss on production that overshadowed consensus-beating earnings. Wunderlich analysts said the quarter was solid, pricing was strong and costs continued to trend lower. "While a relatively quiet quarter for CHK in terms of financial and operational moves, there were some nice positive incremental oil well results that should help drive CHK's oil weighting higher as it shifts to growth in 2H16," they wrote in a note. Wunderlich rates the stock a buy with a $10 price target, equal to 84% upside from current trading levels. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts said the company is moving forward with plans to pay down debt and improve liquidity. Patience is still needed but a strong 2017 exit is likely, they wrote in a note. SunTrust rates the stock buy with a $9 price target. Chesapeake shares have fallen 23% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.

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