November 2, 2017 / 11:28 AM / a year ago

Chesapeake warns of modest 2018 production growth

(Reuters) - U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) on Thursday missed Wall Street’s quarterly revenue estimates and warned of flat-to-modest production growth next year, sending its shares down as much as 8 percent.

FILE PHOTO - Chesapeake Energy Corporation's 50 acre campus is seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. on April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney/File Photo

Capital One Securities said Wall Street was looking for 7 percent production growth for 2018.

Chesapeake is recovering from disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey, which forced it to stop work in the Eagle Ford shale region of Texas.

Revenue dropped 14.6 percent to $1.94 billion in the third quarter, missing average analysts’ estimate of $2.07 billion. Production fell 15 percent, in line with the company’s warning in September.

The Oklahoma-based company said it expects to spend less in 2018, after raising the lower end of its capex budget for 2017 by $200 million.

Chesapeake is selling assets worth $2 billion to $3 billion to shore up its balance sheet. The company is saddled with $9.90 billion in debt as of Sept. 30.

Excluding items, Chesapeake earned 12 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimate by 1 cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s shares were down 6 percent at $3.72 Thursday morning.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D'Silva

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