Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reaffirmed by Zacks in a research note issued on Thursday. They currently have a $19.00 price target on the stock.
Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Ahead of the first quarter 2012 results, we are maintaining our Neutral recommendation for Chesapeake. The company expects to generate high volume growth in 2012 and plans to deploy 85% of its capital spending to drill liquids-rich plays, in light of the uptrend in oil prices. The company plans to invest heavily for the development of its holdings in Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash and Mississippi Lime. We appreciate management’s focus on the Utica Shale that is expected to contribute highly to the company’s growth momentum, going forward. However, these positives are negated by the anticipated lower gas production from the Haynesville and Barnett shales in the coming quarters. Chesapeake also exhibits a weak financial profile with huge debt balance. As such, we see the stock performing in line with the broader market.”
Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) downgraded shares of Chesapeake Energy from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, April 20th. Separately, analysts at Sterne Agee downgraded shares of Chesapeake Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) downgraded shares of Chesapeake Energy to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, April 16th.
Chesapeake Energy traded up 0.85% on Thursday, hitting $17.71. Chesapeake Energy has a 52-week low of $16.78 and a 52-week high of $35.75. The company has a market cap of $11.331 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.58.
The company last announced its quarterly results on Tuesday, February 21st. It reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the previous quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.58 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 38.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Chesapeake Energy will post $0.34 earnings per share next quarter.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (Chesapeake) is a natural gas and oil exploration and production company.