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Chesapeake Energy posts first-quarter profit

Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported net income of $374 million, or 54 cents a share, for the first quarter.
By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer Published: May 7, 2014

The renaissance continues at Chesapeake Energy Corp., as the company beat analysts’ estimates for the first quarter Wednesday by posting adjusted net income of $405 million, or 59 cents a share.

That is 11 cents a share higher than industry analysts who follow the company had predicted, as Chesapeake’s new management continues to focus on cutting costs while increasing production.

CEO Doug Lawler, who is finishing his first year on the job, said Chesapeake boosted its production by 11 percent over the same period of last year, while spending about half of it spent a year ago.

“This was an important and defining quarter for Chesapeake, as our competitive capital allocation, cost leadership and capital efficiency initiatives are driving tangible improvements in the company's growth profile and financial performance,” Lawler said.

He said Chesapeake has raised this year’s operating cash flow guidance by $700 million after the company posted net income of $374 million, or 54 cents a share, for the first quarter. That is up from $15 million, or 2 cents a share, in the same period of 2013.

Chesapeake produced an average of 675,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the quarter. That figure is 11 percent higher than last year when adjusted for asset sales.

Lawler said higher-than-expected natural gas liquids volumes have resulted in Chesapeake raising its production growth outlook to as much as 12 percent. The top end of its production outlook had been 10 percent.