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S&P Cuts Chesapeake's Credit Rating Further Into Junk On Funding Needs

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Standard & Poor's Ratings Services moved Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s (CHK) rating a step further into junk territory, citing revelations of potential conflicts of interest by Chairman and Chief Executive Aubrey K. McClendon, revised production expectations and higher funding needs. Reports last month suggested McClendon borrowed as much as $1.1 billion over the last three years, pledging some of the company's oil and gas wells as collateral. Chesapeake initially rebuffed the notion that its CEO's borrowing against some of its assets raised a conflict of interest. But earlier this month, Chesapeake's board and McClendon agreed to terminate the controversial contract 18 months before it had been scheduled to end. S&P lowered its ratings on Chesapeake Energy a notch to double-B-minus from double-B, leaving it three steps below investment grade. The outlook is negative. "The downgrade reflects mounting turmoil stemming from revelations that underscore shortcomings in Chesapeake's corporate governance practices, covenant concerns, and the likelihood Chesapeake will face an even wider gap between its operating cash flow and planned capital expenditures than we had previously anticipated," said credit analyst Scott Sprinzen. The ratings company said the recent turmoil could hamper Chesapeake's ability to meet its external funding requirements amid weak operating cash flow and aggressive ongoing capital spending. Chesapeake recently reported its first-quarter loss narrowed as the natural-gas producer reported a smaller derivative loss from the year-ago period and as production increased. But company has said it expects a significant decrease from the first-quarter's peak capital expenditure levels during the remainder of 2012 and in 2013 as its further reduces drilling activity in dry natural gas plays and reduce spending on new leasehold. Last week, Moody's Investors Service lowered its outlook on Chesapeake to negative from stable, saying the company's recent operating results revealed a large capital spending funding gap this year. Moody's still rates Chesapeake at Ba2, two steps into junk territory. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; melodie.warner@dowjones.com

Stock News for Chesapeake (CHK)
DateTimeHeadline
09/04/201507:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power...
09/01/201513:49:00New Approach to Natural-Gas Could Keep Prices Low
08/24/201510:10:00Icahn Gets Board Seats From Cheniere
08/24/201509:59:00Icahn Gets Board Seats From Cheniere
08/21/201507:01:00Notice of Proposed Voluntary Dismissal of Derivative Action
08/11/201517:06:10Companies Pull Back on CEO 'Failure Parachutes'
08/06/201520:10:20Icahn Group Holds 8.18% of Cheniere
08/05/201510:00:19U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
08/05/201509:30:07Chesapeake Energy Takes $4 Billion Write-Down Amid Weak Oil Prices
08/05/201509:14:32Chesapeake Energy Takes $4 Billion Write-Down Amid Weak Oil Prices
08/05/201507:01:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Reports 2015 Second Quarter Financial...
07/28/201516:00:00Lonestar Announces Joint Development Agreement With IOG Capital
07/21/201510:20:08Chesapeake Energy to Drop Dividend
07/21/201510:05:56Chesapeake to Eliminate Dividend to Pay for Capital Spending
07/21/201507:01:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Updates Financial Strategy
07/11/201510:30:03Why Chesapeake Energy, Clean Energy Fuels, and Legacy Reserves...
07/11/201507:11:033 Types of Risks Facing Natural Gas Stocks
07/10/201517:09:17Judge Orders Chesapeake to Pay $379.7 Million in Bond-Redemption...
06/12/201516:27:443 Stocks to Watch in Oil Rigs
06/05/201513:04:02How Energy Companies Are Raising Cash In A Pinch

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