Chesapeake is a U.S. oil and gas producer. The company has assets in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the Utica Shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma and Texas, the Niobrara Shale in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, the Haynesville/Bossier Shales in Louisiana and Texas, the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania, and the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin in Texas.
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A company creates wealth for its long-term shareholders in 2 main ways - through dividend payments and through the accumulation of retained earnings. This graph shows the accumulation of per-share equity of long-term shareholders (green bars), which consists of the retained earnings plus all capital invested in the company, and the cumulative dividends the company has paid over time per share of its stock (blue bars).
In the words of Warren Buffett: "We're looking for... businesses earning good returns on equity while employing little or no debt."
Return on equity is a key metric of financial performance, indicating a company's ability to generate earnings using shareholder capital. Over time, ROE is one of the major determinants of the rate at which a company creates shareholder wealth. The average ROE for large U.S. companies is 12%, and many investors use it as a threshold for attractive investments.
Companies can boost ROE by increasing leverage, which reduces the safety of the investment. Therefore, it is useful to look at the return on assets (ROA), which measures a company's earning power regardless of its capital structure. A widening gap between ROE and ROA may be a warning sign that should be thoroughly investigated.
Earnings per share is a popular metric used to value a company (using P/E ratio); growth in EPS is often used to judge company growth potential. However, many investors believe that EPS is an inferior metric to ROE, because it ignores the amount of capital the company used to generate earnings.
Free cash flow shows how much cash a company generates from operations, above and beyond what is required to maintain or expand its productive assets. This cash can be returned to investors, or spent by management on growing the company or paying back its debts.
Balance sheets of many companies contain intangible assets such as goodwill, trademarks, patents, etc. Many investors consider intangibles more difficult to value than physical assets. If intangible assets had been valued incorrectly, they must be impaired, resulting in a loss charged against shareholder equity. This chart demonstrates the potential loss to shareholder equity from such impairments.
Companies often use debt financing to increase their return on equity. However, as the amount of debt financing increases relative to the amount of equity financing, the company becomes more sensitive to down turns and other negative events. As a result, many investors use the ratio of debt to equity as a measure of a company's financial risk, and avoid companies that have this ratio above 1.
This chart shows shareholder equity as a percentage of total assets, allowing investors to judge the overall leverage. Companies with a higher proportion of equity can be viewed as safer investments. This metric is particularly important for highly leveraged institutions, such as banks, where it must be at least 4% according to government regulations.
The ratio of current assets to current liabilities is known as the current ratio. This metric is a quick measure of the company's ability to pay its short-term obligations. A current ratio below 1 is a warning sign that should be investigated, especially for companies that cannot count on adequate cash flow from operations.
This chart shows the cumulative dilution of investor ownership in a company over time. Dilution reduces an investor's participation in the future earnings. Dilution increases when a company issues new shares, and decreases when a company buys its shares back. Many investors avoid companies with large chronic dilution.
analysis provides insight into factors affecting the Return On Equity of a company.
The DuPont equation decomposes ROE as follows:
ROE = (Net margin) * (Asset turnover) * (Asset to equity ratio)
Net margin indicates operating efficiency, Asset turnover measures the total asset use efficiency, and the Asset to equity ratio is a measure of financial leverage.
The dividend payout ratio tells investors what percentage of earnings a company returns to shareholders, and what percentage it retains and reinvests. This ratio represents a major capital allocation decision by the company, and can be used to judge management rationality. Rational management should pay out all earnings that cannot be productively reinvested. Therefore, a low dividend payout ratio for a profitable company with a low growth potential may be a warning sign.
Many investors use the P/B ratio as a quick way of judging company valuation. Value investors - followers of Graham and Dodd - specifically seek out companies with low P/B ratios. However, investors should be careful not to make investment decisions on this metric alone, without considering a company's earning and growth potential, since a low P/B ratio can be a sign of a bleak future for the business.
P/E ratio is a popular way of making a quick judgment of a company valuation. Value investors - followers of Graham and Dodd - often seek solid companies with low P/E ratios as investment opportunities. However, P/E ratio represents an oversimplified approach to business valuation, and can often lead to incorrect investment decisions.
On April 9, 1996 the Company completed a public offering of 2,475,000 shares of Common Stock at a price of $35.33 per share resulting in net proceeds to the Company of approximately $82.1 million. On April 12, 1996, the underwriters exercised an over-allotment option to purchase an additional 519,750 shares of Common Stock at a price of $35.33 per share, resulting in additional net proceeds to the Company of approximately $17.3 million.
On October 28, 1996 the Company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to a proposed public offering of 3,250,000 shares of Common Stock of the Company (3,737,500 shares if the underwriters' over-allotment option is fully exercised).
On November 25, 1996, the Company issued 8,000,000 shares of Common Stock in a public offering at a price of $33.63 per share, which resulted in net proceeds to the Company of approximately $256.9 million. On December 2, 1996, the underwriters of the Company's Common Stock offering exercised an over-allotment option to purchase an additional 972,000 shares of Common Stock at a price of $33.63 per share, resulting in additional net proceeds to the Company of approximately $31.2 million, and total proceeds of $288.1 million.
On March 10, 1998, the Company acquired Hugoton Energy Corporation ("Hugoton") pursuant to a merger by issuing approximately 25.8 million shares of the Company's common stock in exchange for 100% of Hugoton's common stock.
On December 16, 1997, the Company acquired AnSon Production Corporation ("AnSon"), a privately owned oil and gas producer based in Oklahoma City. Consideration for the acquisition was approximately $43 million, which included the issuance of 3,792,724 shares of Chesapeake's common stock and the payment of $24.8 million on May 7, 1998, pursuant to a make-whole provision.
In the Current Quarter, the Company engaged in a number of separate stock exchange transactions with institutional investors. The Company exchanged a total of 9.5 million shares of common stock (both newly issued and treasury shares) for 675,000 shares of its issued and outstanding preferred stock with a liquidation value of $33.8 million plus dividends in arrears of $3.2 million.
Between April 1 and May 9, 2000, the Company engaged in additional transactions in which a total of 13.5 million shares of common stock were exchanged for 1,055,658 shares of its issued and outstanding preferred stock with a liquidation value of $52.8 million plus dividends in arrears of $5.8 million.
In the Current Period, a total of 34.2 million shares of common stock, plus a cash payment of $8.3 million, were exchanged for 3,039,363 shares of preferred stock. These transactions reduced (i) the number of preferred shares from 4.6 million to 1.6 million, (ii) the liquidation value of the preferred stock from $229.8 million to $77.9 million, and (iii) dividends in arrears by $16.8 million to $9.5 million.
In December 2002, we issued 23,000,000 shares of Chesapeake common stock at $7.50 per share. The net proceeds from the offering of $164.1 million were used to finance a portion of the acquisition of oil and gas properties from ONEOK, Inc. in January 2003.
On March 5, 2003, we issued 23 million shares of common stock pursuant to a shelf registration statement for net proceeds of $177.5 million. We also issued 4.6 million shares of 6.00% cumulative convertible preferred stock with a liquidation value of $230 million. The net proceeds from the preferred stock were $222.9 million.
On January 14, 2004, we issued 23,000,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $13.51 per share. We used the net proceeds of this offering of approximately $298.3 million to finance a portion of the acquisitions completed in January 2004.
During 2004, all of our outstanding 6.75% preferred stock was converted into 19,467,482 shares of common stock (at a conversion price of $7.70 per share). Also during 2004, we exchanged 4,496,890 shares of our outstanding 6.0% preferred stock for 23,979,817 shares of common stock. In March 2004, we paid $42.1 million representing the balance outstanding on our 7.875% Senior Notes upon their maturity and we redeemed the $4.3 million outstanding balance of our 8.5% Senior Notes due 2012. In December 2004, we repurchased and retired $190.8 million of our 8.375% Senior Notes due 2008 for cash. We subsequently repurchased and retired an additional $11.0 million of our 8.375% Senior Notes due 2008 for cash in January 2005.
In June 2006, we issued 25,000,000 shares of Chesapeake common stock at $29.05 per share in a public offering for net proceeds of $698.9 million. We issued an additional 3.75 million shares in July 2006 at the same price pursuant to the underwriters' exercise of their overallotment option to purchase the additional shares for net proceeds of $104.9 million.
On May 17, 2010, we issued 600,000 shares of 5.75% Cumulative Convertible Non-Voting Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share and liquidation preference $1,000 per share, in a private placement for net proceeds of approximately $594 million. We issued an additional 900,000 shares of 5.75% Cumulative Convertible Non-Voting Preferred Stock on June 18, 2010, upon the exercise of the purchasers option to place the additional shares, for net proceeds of approximately $877 million. On May 17, 2010, we issued 1,100,000 shares of 5.75% Cumulative Convertible Non-Voting Preferred Stock (Series A), par value $0.01 per share and liquidation preference $1,000 per share, in a private placement for net proceeds of approximately $1.091 billion.
In October 2018, we sold our interests in the Utica Shale operating area located in Ohio for approximately $1.9 billion to Encino Acquisition Partners, a private oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas. We used the net proceeds to reduce debt.
In February 2019, we acquired WildHorse Resource Development Corporation, an oil and gas company with operations in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk formations in southeast Texas, for approximately 717.3 million shares of our common stock and $381 million in cash, and the assumption of WildHorses debt of $1.4 billion as of the acquisition date of February 1, 2019. The acquisition of WildHorse expands our oil growth platform and accelerates our progress toward our strategic and financial goals of enhancing our margins, achieving sustainable free cash flow generation, and reducing our net debt to EBITDA ratio. In conjunction with the acquisition under terms of the merger agreement, David W. Hayes, partner for NGP Energy Capital Management, L.L.C. (NGP), has joined our board and another designee of NGP is expected to be appointed to fill the next vacancy on our board. Because the acquisition of WildHorse occurred after December 31, 2018, Chesapeakes consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto do not include or take into account the closing of the acquisition and its effects.