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Chesapeake Blames Media, Then Withdraws Statement

A new investor presentation posted early Tuesday by Chesapeake Energy Corp. offered 32 pages of onshore production and financial numbers, as well as a full-page statement that opened the document with the headline, "It's been a tough five weeks, but better days ahead." By Tuesday afternoon the page, originally the second page of the 32-page presentation, had been deleted with no explanation.

Chesapeake had claimed on the page that it had "withstood an unprecedented negative media campaign" over the past five weeks, apparently referring to reports that:

"During this time, an incredible 1.2 billion shares of stock has been traded, equal to 180% of our outstanding shares," Chesapeake said in its original presentation. "While damaging in the short run to our reputation, these attacks have failed, and will continue to fail, to reduce the value of the company's assets and our long-term attractiveness to investors."

Chesapeake's investor presentation went on. "At the end of the day, asset value and quality will win and today's shareholders will be well rewarded. Successful asset sales, ongoing transition to liquids and moving to an asset harvest strategy from an asset capture strategy will carry the day."

By the end of this year, the producer said, Chesapeake "will emerge with not only great assets, but also a good and steadily improving balance sheet and significant growth opportunities for years to come."

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