Embattled Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) CEO, Aubrey McClendon, is now under more pressure to sell the company’s scattered oil fields from Texas to Ohio. This pressure comes after the continued freefall in oil and natural gas prices. The dip in prices is expected to aggravate the prevailing cash crunch at Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK).
The year-over-year 46 percent dip in gas prices last quarter, may compel Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) to tighten up on its 2012 operating cash flow projections, at least this is what Chicago based Morningstar Investment Services analyst, Mark Hanson, believes. His outlook is perhaps, driven by the idea that 90 percent of Chesapeake’s production is directly dependent on natural gas and it’s by products.
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James Sullivan, another analyst from New York based Alembic Global Advisors, believes that in the absence of the much needed sales, the cash flow gap could stretch to $18.6 billion at the fall of 2013. If this so happens, Sullivan notes that Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) would be compelled to cut back on production targets and call off its drilling projects. With regard to the drilling projects, McClendon formally assured varied stakeholders that he would raise funds to highs of up to $20.5 billion by the end of 2013, noting that the funds would be used in the drilling projects and in honoring debt covenants.
While the sales seem to be the only way out at the moment, Hanson notes that at the fall of 2013 these sales could bite back at Chesapeake. Hanson maintains that McClendon may be faced with limited options come next year after the company has sold most of its valuable fields.
This situation comes with just a few hours before second quarter earnings release. Data compiled by Bloomberg reveals that analysts are not as confident in Chesapeake. The estimates paint a picture of gloom as the net income, minus losses and gains, is expected to dip $99.6 million, from a previous $571 million on a year-over-year basis. This estimate represents a more than 80 percent dip.
This year, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) has not enjoyed the best of moments as it has been dragged into a series of conflicts.
On top of the list is Aubrey McClendon. The CEO has been on the receiving end of unending scrutiny, following alleged conflict between his personal finances and corporate duties. McClendon was also shown the door earlier this year with regard to his position as chairman, amid a board shakeup that cut through the entire board, replacing more than half of the members.