Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Thursday conducted its first quarterly conference call without founder Aubrey McClendon, who has said he will leave the company April 1.
The company expects to name its new CEO before McClendon departs, Jeff Mobley, Chesapeake's senior vice president of investor relations and research, said during the call.
In McClendon's stead, other Chesapeake executives reported stronger-than-expected earnings, fueled by increased oil production.
“Over the past three quarters, Chesapeake has demonstrated that we have the people, properties and processes in place to drive liquids production higher while also containing per unit expenses,” said Steve Dixon, Chesapeake's chief operating officer and executive vice president of operations and geosciences.
The Oklahoma City energy company posted a net fourth-quarter profit of $257 million, or 39 cents a share. The income was down from a profit of $429 million, or 63 centsa share, in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year, Chesapeake recorded a loss of $940 million, or $1.46 a share, down from a profit of $1.57 billion, or $2.32 a share, in the previous year.
Chesapeake's fourth-quarter adjusted earnings reached 26 cents a share, down from 58 cents a share one year ago, but nearly double consensus analyst expectations of 14 cents a share.
Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit called the earnings announcement “very positive.”
“It shows renewed confidence, backed by good operating results,” Gheit said.