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Chris Lau

​Chesapeake Energy is Not Out of the Woods

The only person doing well regarding Chesapeake Energy (CHK) for 2015 is its CEO. The CEO earned $15.4 million, thanks to a base pay increase of 8 percent.

After briefly rallying to around $6 last month, Chesapeake’s stock is in danger of revisiting lows in the $2 - $3 range. Unless natural gas prices stabilize, oil holds $39 and moves up from there, and Chesapeake continues cutting debt through asset sales, look for another drop.

If that happens, Chesapeake makes a good contrarian long bet on energy. Bankruptcy is off the table. Management voiced loudly that this path is not happening, largely because managing the debt is possible.

Lawler, CHK’s CEO, comes from Anadarko, where he rose in the ranks. Under his leadership, he cut costs (head count reduction) and brought the company’s focus back to production over exploration.