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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
07/14/201616:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Provides 2016 Second Quarter Earnings...
07/12/201613:40:00Permian Resources Draws Strong Interest From Debt Investors
07/08/201613:24:00Dick's Sporting Goods Seeks Court Approval to Buy Sports Authority...
07/01/201616:35:00North Texas Royalty Buyers and Investors Sue Chesapeake Energy...
06/26/201620:40:00Williams Cos. Fights to Save Deal
06/08/201613:44:00Crash That Killed Aubrey McClendon Was Accident -- 2nd Update
06/08/201613:05:00Crash That Killed Aubrey McClendon Was Accident -- Update
06/08/201613:00:00Crash That Killed Aubrey McClendon Was Accident
06/08/201612:35:00Crash That Killed Aubrey McClendon Was Accident
06/07/201614:30:00Seventy Seven Energy Files for Bankruptcy
05/18/201621:57:00American Energy Partners LP to Shut Down -- Update
05/16/201618:55:00SandRidge Energy Files for Bankruptcy Protection -- 2nd Update
05/16/201615:08:00SandRidge Energy Files for Bankruptcy Protection -- 2nd Update
05/12/201616:27:00Chesapeake Swaps Debt for Stock -- Update
05/12/201610:30:00Chesapeake Swaps Debt for Stock
05/12/201610:15:00Chesapeake Energy Swaps Debt for Stock
05/06/201603:03:00Energy Producer Narrows Its Loss -- WSJ
05/05/201610:10:00Chesapeake Energy Loss Narrows
05/05/201609:58:00Chesapeake Energy Loss Narrows; to Sell Some Assets
05/05/201608:18:00Newfield to acquire an additional 42,000 net acres in STACK

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