Chesapeake Energy, in its first earnings report since the departure of former CEO Aubrey McClendon on April 1, said it earned $15 million despite nearly $180 million in one-time charges. The Oklahoma City-based producer, which is the second-largest operator in the Barnett Shale, said revenues jumped $1 billion in the quarter to $3.4 billion on higher product prices and a 9 percent gain in production from a year ago. Oil production was up 56 percent from a year ago, said acting CEO Steve Dixon. After adjusting for unusual items, Chesapeake earned $183 million, or 30 cents a share, compared to Wall Street's consensus estimate of 25 cents. But the company's shares (ticker: CHK) were down in early trading.
The company said it averaged 83 drilling rigs in the quarter and spent $1.5 billion on drilling and competitions, versus just $45 million for unproved acreage. CFO Domenic Dell'Osso said Chesapeake will "devote more than 80 percent of our total capital expenditures to drilling and completion activities in 2013, as compared to an average of approximately 50 percent over the past three years." The company said it closed or signed about $2 billion worth of asset sales so far this year and expects between $4 billion and $7 billion in asset sales during 2013.
--- Jim Fuquay