Chesapeake (CHK) Shares Get Some Relief as Most Analysts Say Buy the Dip, But Skeptics Remain

May 3, 2012 12:47 PM EDT
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Price: $62.58 +0.16%

Rating Summary:
    9 Buy, 16 Hold, 19 Sell

Rating Trend: Down Down

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 6 | Down: 10 | New: 28
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In addition to a two-notch upgrade on Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) from Bernstein's Bob Brackett Thursday morning, a number of other analysts are making positive comments on the company and stock following the debacle related to CEO Aubrey McClendon and the company's Founder Well Participation Program (FWPP).

After plunging more than 14 percent on Wednesday amid a first-quarter earnings miss, Chesapeake shares are getting some relief Thursday, currently up about 1.8 percent to $17.04.

Around the Street:
  • Capital One Southcoast - Maintains Add rating, $29 target. Called the recent dip in the stock a buying opportunity. The firm pointed to the company's track record of monetizing assets at favorable prices and a stock valuation which currently offers about 73 percent upside to net asset value.

  • SunTrust - Maintains Buy, $30 target. Noted the company's strategic options cover future funding needs. SunTrust still sees "significant" value in Chesapeake.

  • Canaccord Genuity - Maintains a Buy but lowered the stock's price target from $35 to $26. Said, "We believe Chesapeake’s Board is taking the steps necessary to improve corporate governance... However, this morning’s allegation that McClendon managed a hedge fund with natural gas positions is troubling. Consequently, Chesapeake may need to take further steps to assuage corporate governance concerns."
On the other side of the trade, Brean Murray's Raymond Deacon pointed to "capital discipline and liquids production growth" which remain "elusive." He said, "the corporate governance issues that have cast the company into the media spotlight in recent weeks only add to fundamental factors that keep Chesapeake's shares from realizing the value of the company's asset portfolio." The analyst believes Chesapeake will need to raise about $13 billion in order to hits its $9.5 billion debt target by the end of this year. Brean Murray and Deacon reiterated a Hold rating on Chesapeake shares.

To track all the analyst calls on shares of Chesapeake Energy, visit our Analyst Ratings page.

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Brean Murray Carret & Co., Capital One Southcoast, Hedge Funds, Aubrey McClendon, Earnings