Live by the sword, die by the sword, right? ChesapeakeEnergy (NYSE:CHK) was a fine stock when everybody was going gaga about energy in general and natural gas in particular. But now it seems that some people can't wait to leave this party.

That might be a mistake. I've been generally positive on Chesapeake in the past, and the more I watch and learn about this company, the more I like what I see.

Results are a little muddled by the impact of hedging activities and the exchange of preferred for common stock, but it's still clear that this was a strong quarter. Revenue jumped 86%, as the company coupled 27% production growth with higher price realizations. Despite ongoing cost increases across the sector, Chesapeake also boosted its profitability; it grew adjusted EBITDA by 91% and more than doubled adjusted earnings.

Fools who've followed this company know that it's been busy on the acquisition front, so it's no great surprise that proven reserves grew by 53% for the year. That puts the reserve replacement ratio at an eye-popping 659%. Just as impressive, the company would have achieved 223% reserve replacement through the drillbit alone -- that is, organic growth through its own exploration, development, and drilling efforts.

I'm coming to respect the apparent shrewdness of this company's management. For instance, Chesapeake sold its stake in Pioneer Drilling (AMEX:PDC) and used the proceeds to buy actual rigs from Martex -- buying those rigs at a 33% discount to the implied stock market valuation of Pioneer's rigs. What's more, the company has used a thorough hedging strategy to lock in 74% of first-quarter natural gas production at a price of $10.72 per mcf, and 71% of 2006 production at $9.43.

There's no shortage of good ideas out here in energy land. Apache (NYSE:APA), Anadarko (NYSE:APC), Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ), Occidental (NYSE:OXY), and perhaps even UltraPetroleum (AMEX:UPL) have their charms. And while it's mostly fair to see these stocks trade in time with energy prices, it would seem that the market has pushed down Chesapeake a bit too much.

For more Foolish thoughts on energy ideas:

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).