Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s stock plunged 9.8% in active midday trade Thursday, as disappointing production data and a sharp selloff in oil prices to nine-month lows unnerved investors. Volume of 59.3 million shares already exceeded the full-day average of 41.2 million shares. The stock had initially rallied as much as 5.1% in premarket trade, after the oil and natural gas company beat first-quarter profit expectations. RBC Capital analyst Scott Hanold said that while first-quarter average daily production of 528,000 barrels of oil equivalent was in line with the company's guidance, it was below consensus expectations, which FactSet said was about 536,000 BOE. Separately, June crude oil futures tumbled 4.1% to the lowest levels seen since August after data showing U.S. output rose and inventories declined more than expected and amid expectations that Libyan production will recover. Chesapeake's stock has plummeted 29% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has lost 13% and the S&P 500 has gained 6.4%.
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