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Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) today announced an updated financial strategy. Highlights include:

  • Elimination of common stock dividend effective 2015 third quarter
  • Sale of CHK Cleveland Tonkawa, L.L.C. properties and adjacent assets anticipated to close in 2015 third quarter; redemption of preferred shares in CHK Cleveland Tonkawa subsidiary
  • Declaration of preferred stock dividends

Due to the current commodity price environment for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the resulting reduction in capital available to invest in its high-quality assets, Chesapeake Energy will eliminate its common dividend effective 2015 third quarter and redirect the cash into its 2016 capital program to maximize the return available to its shareholders.

Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We received approval from our Board of Directors to eliminate the common stock dividend of $0.35 per share annually, which is applicable to the 2015 third quarter. We believe this decision is prudent as we continue to invest and redirect as much capital as possible into our world-class assets. The elimination of the common stock dividend will save approximately $240 million annually. This, along with the redemption of the preferred shares in our CHK Cleveland Tonkawa subsidiary, is part of a broader disciplined approach that began two years ago to decrease the company’s financial complexity and increase our liquidity. The company’s liquidity position remains extremely strong with more than $2 billion of unrestricted cash on our balance sheet and an undrawn $4 billion revolving credit facility as of June 30, 2015. We continue to move forward with multiple opportunities that will strengthen our cash flow generation capabilities, and I look forward to future announcements regarding the ways we are creating additional value in the months ahead.”

Chesapeake to Eliminate Future Financial and Drilling Obligations with the Sale of Properties and Redemption of Preferred Shares in CHK Cleveland-Tonkawa Subsidiary

Chesapeake, through one of its affiliates, has signed a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of the properties held by CHK Cleveland Tonkawa, L.L.C. (the “LLC”) to FourPoint Energy, LLC (“FourPoint”). Chesapeake will use the proceeds from this sale, plus other cash from the LLC, to redeem its preferred interest in the LLC. Other than customary adjustments to the purchase price and certain indemnity obligations in connection with the sale, Chesapeake will not be required to pay any additional amounts for the redemption. Upon closing of the transaction, Chesapeake will eliminate approximately $75 million in annual preferred dividend payments, the 3.75% overriding royalty interest payments associated with the properties and all related future drilling and override conveyance commitments. Additionally, Chesapeake signed a definitive agreement to sell noncore adjacent properties centered in Roger Mills and Ellis counties in Oklahoma to FourPoint for approximately $90 million in cash. Chesapeake’s net production from the combined assets was approximately 15 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2015 second quarter.

Chesapeake’s Board of Directors Declared Dividends on Its Outstanding Convertible Preferred Stock

4.50% 5% (2005B) 5.75% 5.75% (Series A)
NYSE Symbol CHK Pr D N/A N/A N/A
Date of Original Issue September 14, 2005 November 8, 2005 May 17, 2010 May 17, 2010
Registered CUSIP 165167842 165167826 165167768 165167750
144A CUSIP N/A 165167834 165167776 165167784
RegS CUSIP N/A N/A U16450204 U16450113
Clean (no legends) CUSIP N/A N/A 165167768 165167750
Par Value per Share $0.01 $0.01 $0.01 $0.01
Shares Outstanding 2,558,900 2,095,615 1,497,000 1,100,000
Liquidation Preference per Share $100 $100 $1,000 $1,000
Record Date September 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 August 1, 2015
Payment Date September 15, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 15, 2015
Amount per Share $1.125 $1.25 $14.375 $14.375

2015 Second Quarter Financial and Operational Results Conference Call Information

The company has scheduled to release its 2015 second quarter operational update and financial results before market open on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. A conference call to discuss the results has been scheduled for the same day at 9:00 am EDT. The telephone number to access the conference call is 913-312-0648 or toll-free 800-930-1344. The passcode for the call is 8058511. We encourage those who would like to participate in the call to place calls between 8:50 and 9:00 am EDT. For those unable to participate in the live conference call, a replay will be available for audio playback at 2:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, and will run through 2:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. The number to access the conference call replay is 719-457-0820 or toll-free 888-203-1112. The passcode for the replay is 8058511. The conference call will also be webcast live at in the “Investors” section of the company’s website. The webcast of the conference will be available on the website for one year.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) is the second-largest producer of natural gas and the 11th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company’s operations are focused on discovering and developing its large and geographically diverse resource base of unconventional oil and natural gas assets onshore in the U.S. The company also owns substantial marketing and compression businesses.Further information is available at where Chesapeake routinely posts announcements, updates, events, investor information, presentations and news releases.