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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
09/19/201618:49:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake -- Update
09/19/201618:10:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake
09/19/201618:03:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake
09/18/201621:00:00Oklahomans Turn Out for Auction of McClendon's Wines
09/18/201616:49:00Oklahomans Turn Out for Auction of Aubrey McClendon's Wines
09/13/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Final Results Of Cash...
09/13/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Extension Of Expiration...
09/10/201603:02:00France's Total Expands in Texas -- WSJ
09/09/201614:50:00France's Total Buys Bigger Piece of Barnett Shale in Texas...
09/09/201614:46:00Correction to Total Barnett Shale Story
09/09/201604:20:00France's Total Takes Control of Barnett Shale in Texas
09/09/201604:09:00France's Total Takes Control of Barnett Shale in Texas -- Update
09/09/201603:11:00Total to Acquire Chesapeake's 75% of Barnett Shale
09/09/201603:02:00Pipeline-Deal Pursuit Ends -- WSJ
09/08/201619:46:00Enterprise Products Withdraws Its Interest in Williams -- 4th...
09/08/201618:42:00Enterprise Products Withdraws Its Interest in Williams -- 3rd...
09/08/201618:22:00Enterprise Products Withdraws Its Interest in Williams -- 2nd...
09/08/201617:37:00Enterprise Products Withdraws Its Interest in Williams -- Update
08/26/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Early Results Of Cash...
08/26/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Increase In Size Of Cash...

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