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Chesapeake touts financial discipline as earnings rise

Chesapeake Energy Corp. shares jump 7 percent to new 52-week high on results.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: August 1, 2013 at 11:41 pm •  Published: August 2, 2013
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Speaking publicly for the first time since he was hired as Chesapeake's new chief executive, Doug Lawler on Thursday expressed his excitement about the company's future.

Investors responded by driving Chesapeake's stock up more than 7 percent. It reached a 52-week high at $25.20 before closing at $24.95 a share.

Lawler said the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company delivered strong results in the second quarter, a testament to its employees' determination and focus.

Chesapeake reported net income of $457 million, or 66 cents a share, with several after-tax adjustments.

The company's adjusted income of $334 million, or 51 cents a share, is 10 cents higher than analysts' estimates and well ahead of the same quarter of last year, when the company earned $3 million, or 6 cents a share.

Lawler said Chesapeake's second-quarter production averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent a day, up 7 percent year over year.

The company's oil production was up 44 percent, buoyed by gains in south Texas' Eagle Ford Shale.

“I am very excited and energized by what I have seen during my first six weeks with the company,” Lawler said. “Chesapeake has an exceptionally broad and deep asset base, which offers tremendous opportunity for value creation.”

Sterne Agee analyst Tim Rezvan said Chesapeake has managed to erase near-term liquidity concerns without hampering its production.

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