Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) released the results from its first quarter this morning, posting earnings of 59 cents per share, excluding items, on $5.05 billion in revenue—a 47% increase. Analysts had been expecting 48 cents per share on $4.52 billion in revenue. Reported earnings per share were 54 cents, compared to 2 cents in the same quarter a year ago.
Breaking down Chesapeake Energy’s earnings
Diluted earnings per share rose 97% from 30 cents in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA rose 34% to $1.5 billion. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) said the main drivers were higher realized natural gas prices, higher production for oil and natural gas liquids and lower per unit production and general and administrative expenses.
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Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) said average daily production was 675,200 barrel of oil equivalents. That’s an 11% increase when adjusted for asset sales. That includes about 109,500 barrels of oil, 84,200 barrels of natural gas liquids and 2.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The company said downtime due to bad weather negatively impacted production by about 7,600 barrels per day, mostly in the mid-continent area. However, that amount was within the range Chesapeake had budgeted for downtime during the winter. Average daily oil production rose 20% year over year, while average daily natural gas liquid production rose 63%. Natural gas production rose 4%.
The energy giant reported a realized natural gas price of $3.27 per thousand cubic feet, compared to $1.90 in the same quarter a year ago. That’s about a 72% increase due to higher prices because of extremely cold temperatures. Also the company said it had more access to premium priced markets in the Northeast.
Chesapeake Energy updates asset sales
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) said it received $520 million from selling assets during the first quarter. The company sold its ownership interest in Chaparral Energy, compression units to Access Midstream Partners and other real estate and noncore assets.
The company continues to look for strategic alternatives for the oilfield services division, which it said recently would consider spinning off to Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) shareholders or just selling outright.
Chesapeake Energy Raises Production Guidance
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) also increased its guidance for adjusted production growth to between 9% and 12%. In February, the company had guided for only an increase of between 2% and 4%. Chesapeake cited higher than expected volumes in natural gas liquids.
The company also increased its operating cash flow guidance from between $5.1 billion and $5.3 billion to between $5.8 billion and $6 billion.