Chesapeake Beats on Top, Bottom Lines

Drilling rig
Drilling rig

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings before markets opened this morning.

For the quarter, the oil and gas exploration and production company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.26 on revenues of $3.54 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.58 on revenues of $2.73 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.14 and $2.86 billion in revenues.

For the full year, Chesapeake reported EPS of $0.61 on revenues of $12.32 billion. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.48 on revenues of $11.44 billion.

On a GAAP basis, the full-year net loss totaled $1.46 a share. Excluded from full-year earnings were a noncash impairment charge of $2.02 billion related to carrying value of the company's oil and gas properties and other smaller items

Management comments were attributed to the company's COO, not the soon-to-be ex-CEO Aubrey McClendon, who departs on April Fool's Day. The company's COO said:

We continue to deliver on our liquids growth targets, led by a year-over-year increase of nearly 40,000 barrels per day in oil production. We achieved this despite the sale of nearly 18,000 barrels per day of oil production associated with our exit from the Permian Basin during the 2012 third and fourth quarters. We believe this performance ranks Chesapeake among the top three organic oil growth stories in the industry for 2012.

The company averaged daily production of 3.93 billion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas during the fourth quarter. Liquids, comprising both crude oil and natural gas liquids, account for 23% of the company's daily production and 59% of its total full-year realized revenues. A year ago, liquids accounted for 30% of revenues.

Chesapeake's only comments on guidance were to reaffirm the production and drilling growth estimates it had already made and to continue to reduce its debt. Consensus estimates call for first-quarter EPS of $0.22 on revenues of $2.74 billion and full-year 2013 EPS of $1.21 on revenues of $11.25 billion.

Chesapeake's shares are trading up about 2.5%, at $20.75 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09. The consensus target price for the shares was around $23.00 before today's report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Oil & Gas, Pre-Market Activity Tagged: CHK