Chesapeake 1Q17 – Swings to Profit, Interest in Selling Marcellus?

Chesapeake Energy released its first quarter 2017 update yesterday. Chesapeake, the second largest natural gas producer in the United States, has its fingers in a lot of shale pies. But two of the key pies is the Marcellus and Utica. What does yesterday’s update tell us about Chessy’s involvement in the northeast? Utica production was down in 1Q17, from 138,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 1Q16 to 96,000 barrels in 1Q17. However, Marcellus production was up, slightly, from 134,000 barrels in 1Q16 to 146,000 barrels in 1Q17. Total production, across all of Chesapeake’s wells, dropped by 21% in 1Q17 versus a year ago. However, perhaps the biggest news is that Chessy seems to be out of the woods financially. In 1Q16 Chesapeake lost $1.1 billion. In 1Q17, the made (profited, in the black) $75 million–more than a huge $1.2 billion swing in just one year’s time. Kudos to Chesapeake CEO Doug “the ax” Lawler. And we’re laughing at corporate raider Carl Ichan–the guy who hired Lawler. Icahn bailed by selling his Chesapeake stock late last year (see Carl Ichan Sells Rest of his Chesapeake Stock, Good Riddance). He sold just in time for the company to turn a profit. Talk about poor timing. And everyone things Icahn is such a god when it comes to investing. Below are extracts from yesterday’s earnings call, where Lawler answers a question about whether or not he wants to sell Marcellus acreage, along with a full copy of the 1Q17 update and the latest PowerPoint slide deck…

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