This story was updated at 5:46 p.m. EST.
Responding to a stock-battering report, Chesapeake Energy said it has no plans to file for bankruptcy. The second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S. has been cutting jobs jobs and grappling with nearly $10 billion in debt, but on Monday it stopped short of admitting that it's seeking court protection.
“Chesapeake currently has no plans to pursue bankruptcy and is aggressively seeking to maximize value for all shareholders,” the company said Monday morning after Debtwire reported the Oklahoma-based company retained restructuring lawyers from New York's Kirkland & Ellis. Chesapeake said it has had a relationship with the firm since 2010.
Chesapeake’s share price plunged 50 percent on Monday, triggering three so-called circuit breakers, which halt trading when stock moves steeply in any direction. The company’s stock value shed more than $800 million by 10 a.m. The stock closed down on Monday by a third to around $2.05 and dropped more in after-hours activity. In the past 12 months, the company’s share price has lost about 90 percent of its valve, from over $20.
Like other platers in the energy sector, Chesapeake has been canceling projects and laying off workers in an effort to slow down cash burn. The company had about $1.76 billion in cash and about $4.56 billion in short-term liabilities, meaning bills that come due within the next 12 months, as of Sept. 30. The company’s market cap is about $1.41 billion; it’s total debt is $11.57 billion as of the start of the fourth quarter 2015.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 earnings on Feb. 24 before markets open in New York. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report a loss of $148.1 million and 19 cents per share, from a gain of $586 million and 81 cents per share. Revenue is expected to plunge to $2.63 billion in the three months ending in December, from $5.05 billion in the same period in 2014.