Chesapeake quarterly profit, revenue short of Street

HOUSTON Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:09pm EST

A man walks past the head office of BHP Billiton in central Melbourne October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

A man walks past the head office of BHP Billiton in central Melbourne October 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mick Tsikas

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy (CHK.N) reported a fourth-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, but revenue came in short of analysts' expectations and the U.S. oil and gas company's stock fell after a session of big gains.

Chesapeake -- which has pledged to reduce its debt and increase its oil production over the next two years -- reported revenue that missed Wall Street estimates as the prices it realized for oil and gas were lower than a year ago.

The company's shares, which climbed as much as 8 percent during regular trading on news of a big asset sale to Australia's BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), fell 1 percent post market.

Chesapeake, the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States behind Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), earned $180 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with a loss of $530 million, or 84 cents, a year earlier.

Adjusted income, which excludes certain items, was 70 cents a share, Chesapeake said on Tuesday. Revenue fell 11 percent to $2 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 63 cents per share and revenue of $2.37 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

Average daily production rose 12 percent from a year ago to 2.92 billion cubic feet equivalent. Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, said its proved natural gas reserves rose 20 percent last year to 17.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent.

Shares of Chesapeake fell to $31.80, after closing at $32.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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