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Pre-Earnings Sentiment Check on Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

Wall Street remains leery of CHK ahead of tomorrow's quarterly results

by 4/30/2013 11:41 AM
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Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is slated to step up to the earnings plate before the market opens tomorrow. Despite the stock being up 16% year-to-date to trade at $19.29, Wall Street has been bearishly aligning itself ahead of the results.

Beginning in the options pits... Over the course of the past 10 sessions, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 37,765 puts, compared to 24,154 calls, resulting in a put/call volume ratio of 1.56. Two weeks ago (on April 16), this ratio rested at 0.62, signaling that call volume had the edge over put volume. Additionally, the most recent ratio ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range, indicating that puts have been scooped up over calls at a near annual-high clip in recent weeks.

Elsewhere on the Street, short interest accounts for a healthy 11% of the Chesapeake Energy's available float, and it would take more than six sessions to cover these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume. Additionally, no fewer than 17 out of 27 analysts maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" suggestion toward the CHK.

As mentioned, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) will unveil its first-quarter results tomorrow morning, and this skepticism surrounding the stock may be due in part to the company's history in the confessional. CHK has missed bottom-line estimates in three of the past six quarters. What's more, in the day following its quarterly results, the stock averaged a loss of 3.7%, while in the week after, the equity posted a mean deficit of 5.2%. For CHK's first quarter, analysts are calling for a profit of 25 cents per share.

In today's session, the stock was last seen 0.2% lower after Chesapeake Energy announced this morning that it has sold 162,000 acres in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale to Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) for an estimated $93 million.


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