Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. fell Wednesday after the oil and natural gas company reported a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by one-time charges. The company’s adjusted earnings came in lower than Wall Street expected. In morning trading, shares fell $2.05, or 7.6 percent, to $24.89. Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, is reviewing its portfolio of assets to see if they still fit the company’s strategy. Chesapeake wants to focus on discovering and developing natural gas and oil assets onshore in the U.S. On Monday, it said that it is considering selling or spinning off its oilfield services unit Chesapeake Outfield Operating LLC. For the 2013 full year Chesapeake reported net income available to common stockholders of $474 million, or $0.73 per fully diluted share. These results include the after-tax impact of several items including, according to the company’s new release of “charges of $120 million for the purchase of debt and the extinguishment of a lease obligation in the Fort Worth, Texas area.” Chesapeake offered no further detail on the item.
The company also said it “is marketing or has under contract sales of certain real estate and other non-E&P assets, excluding its oilfield services division, Chesapeake Oilfield Services (COS), which are expected to generate proceeds of approximately $650 million during 2014.” Those assets include its Fort Worth office which it purchased from Pier 1 several years ago. That building has been on the market since 2012.
During the three months that ended Dec. 31, the company reported a loss of $159 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with net income of $250 million, or 39 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted to remove one-time charges, the company would have earned 27 cents per share. That’s below the 40 cents per share analysts expected, according to FactSet. Revenue rose 28 percent to $4.54 billion from $3.54 billion, above the $4.41 billion analysts expected. The one-time, charges included an impairment charge of $126 million on certain property and equipment, $76 million to end a lease in Texas and $28 million for job cutting and restructuring costs. The company said production during the quarter rose 2 percent from the year before, but was down 1 percent from the previous quarter due to bad weather.
For 2013, the company reported net income of $474 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with a loss of $940 million, or $1.46 per share, in 2012. Its adjusted earnings were $1.50 per share. Revenue rose 42 percent to $17.51 billion from $12.32 billion during the same period. Analysts expected earnings of $1.64 per share and revenue of $16.83 billion.- Robert Francis of the Business Press contributed to this report.