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03 agosto 2007

Chesapeake Energy Posts 48 Percent Jump in 2nd-Quarter Profit on Higher Natural Gas Production

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 48 percent on an increase in natural gas production.

After the payment of preferred dividends, Chesapeake earned $492.3 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $332.1 million, or 82 cents per share, for the same quarter in 2006.

The 2007 quarter's results included an unrealized gain of $98.5 million related to changes in the value of certain financial instruments and a gain of $51.3 million resulting from the sale of its investment in Eagle Energy Partners I LP, the company posted an adjusted profit available to common shareholders of $342 million, or 71 cents per share.

Revenue rose 33 percent to $2.10 billion from $1.58 billion in the year-ago period.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a profit of 65 cents per share on $1.63 billion in revenue.

Natural gas production rose to 156.1 billion cubic feet from 129.8 billion, while the average realized gas price dipped to $7.97 per thousand cubic feet from $8.04 in the year-ago period.

Oil production rose to 2.3 million barrels from 2.1 million in the 2006 period, while the price of oil increased to $65.37 a barrel from $58.80 a barrel.

The company said it expects to increase its average daily production rate 18 percent to 22 percent in 2007, and 14 percent to 18 percent in 2008.

In addition, Chesapeake said it plans to sell part of its of its Appalachian producing properties in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky for proceeds of at least $600 million by the end of the year.