Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK ) swung to a profit in the third quarter, it reported today. The company has been selling assets and cutting costs in an effort to regain profitability after natural gas prices plunged and the quarter showed progress in that direction.
Revenue was up 64% to $4.9 billion, driven by an increase in marketing, gathering and compression. Overall, daily production slipped 2% to 372 bcfe, but rising prices for both natural gas and oil more than offset the production decline. Chesapeake Energy also made progress in increasing its liquids production, growing oil output 23% from a year ago and increasing full-year oil production outlook by 2 million barrels to 40 million to 42 million barrels.
After losing $2.06 billion a year ago, Chesapeake made a profit of $156 million, or $0.24 per share. It has also sold $3.6 billion in assets so far this year and anticipates closing another $600 million in sales this quarter.
As long as natural gas and oil prices don't slip in coming quarters, it looks like Chesapeake has turned the corner from financial trouble last year. With continued asset sales into 2014 it should also be able to reduce leverage, which reduces risk in the company long term.