Chesapeake Energy's Stock Surges After Profit Beat, Upbeat Production Outlook

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. surged 5.1% in premarket trade Thursday, after the oil and natural gas exploration company reported swung to a first-quarter profit that beat expectations. Net income was $75 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.11 billion, or $1.66 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as asset impairment charges, adjusted earnings per share came to 23 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 18 cents. Total revenue rose to $2.75 billion from $1.95 billion. Oil, natural gas and natural-gas equivalent revenue rose to $1.47 billion from $993 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $1.11 billion, while marketing, gathering and compression revenue growth to $1.28 billion from $960 million was below expectations of $1.31 billion. Average daily production of 528,000 barrels of oil equivalent was within guidance of 515,000 to 535,000. Average oil production is expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day by year end, up from 83,700 barrels in the first quarter. " We expect our production to grow significantly in the second half of 2017 as we place more wells to sales, and as a result, we have raised the bottom range of our 2017 production guidance," said Chief Executive Doug Lawler. The stock had tumbled 21% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF had lost 10% and the S&P 500 had rallied 6.7%.

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