Monday, May 7, 2012

Southeastern Asset Management's Letter to Chesapeake Energy (as filed with the SEC) CHK

From the Wall Street Journal's Overheard (Heard on the Street) blog:
Put your heads down, keep quiet and maybe think about putting yourselves out of a job. Those were some of the big messages delivered to CEO Aubrey McClendon and his colleagues by Southeastern Asset Management Monday.

Southeastern is the gas producer’s largest shareholder with a stake of about 13%. Following multiple revelations about Mr. McClendon’s personal finances, the opening of an informal regulatory inquiry, and a lousy set of first-quarter results, Southeastern has made its displeasure felt. In a three-pronged letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it urged Chesapeake’s management to focus on maximizing cash flow rather than its “arbitrary” growth and debt reduction plans (cash flow was especially weak in the first quarter).

What’s more, Southeastern reckons Chesapeake’s management would have a better shot at improving the company’s financial position if it spent less time doing conferences and interviews – particularly as, in Southeastern’s opinion, Chesapeake has no hope of a “fair hearing” in the media....MORE