Chesapeake Troubles Continue As Pipeline Gains Steam

Updated on

Chesapeake Troubles Continue As Pipeline Gains Steam

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is facing trouble on Wall Street just as it’s subsidiary Chesapeake Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE:CHKM) is seeing more and more interest in its future. Reuters today reported on the firm’s deal to sell it’s natural gas last year before it had come out of the ground to the tune of $859 million last year. The deal was called Glenn Pool and was seen as an innovative strategic move by the company as it sought to raise capital.

In the meantime Midstream Partners, a company set up to manage pipeline projects, is being touted as a better alternative to investors wanting to invest in the natural gas sector. The Wall Street Journal reported today that a Goldman Sachs analyst said the investment bank has a favorable view of the stock. That analyst pointed to the company’s balance sheet as well as its safe contracts and the number of well connections it maintains as positives for the company.

It’s parent may not be doing quite as well as that. The company, according to Reuters, is taking in more cash from investment deals like the Glenn Pool transaction than it actually is from selling oil and gas. That is clearly an untenable position for any company to be in though the low price of natural gas seems to make it necessary going forward if the company wants to continue its expansion. The problem comes when questions are asked of the firm’s ability to continue taking in money in this way. Those questions are starting to be asked now.

Moody’s has recently changed its outlook on the company’s debt to negative from a stable. That may be the first sign the firm is going to have a tougher time raising capital in future.

Well known value investor Mason Hawkins sent a letter to the board of Chesapeake earlier this week advising the firm to make some fairly radical changes in its strategy going forward. He advised the company’s management focus more on the firm and less on unproductive interests and communication. His main argument was that the firm should change the way it values itself in order to become more stable in the short term. Lastly he advised the company be open to any and all offers to acquire it wholly. That advice was tempered by a caution of achieving the real value of the company in any sale.

Leave a Comment