Chesapeake Energy back to profit as production, prices rise

MarketsAssociated Press

A boost in production and commodity prices pushed Chesapeake Energy Corp. back into a profitable fourth quarter.

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The company also finished 2017 with its first annual profit in three years after years of cost-cutting. Shares jumped almost 13 percent at the open of trading Thursday.

The natural gas company swung to a fourth-quarter profit of $332 million, or 33 cents per share. Adjusted for non-recurring gains, its per-share earnings of 30 cents were a nickel better than Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research

Revenue jumped 25 percent to $2.52 billion, also topping analyst projections of $1.23 billion.

Energy companies have slashed spending for years to offset weak prices. Chesapeake cut operating expenses 32 percent to $8.36 billion last year and prices did bounce back, with the average sale price of a barrel of oil equivalent up 31 percent.

For the year, the company reported net income of $939 million, or 90 cents per share, swinging to a profit. Revenue rose21 percent to $4.99 billion.

Chesapeake expects production to grow about 3 percent in 2018.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CHK at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CHK