Chesapeake Energy CEO Dough Lawler. Image courtesy of Chesapeake Energy /Facebook.

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy suspended its annual dividend payments on Tuesday beginning this quarter.

According to Reuters, the suspension is expected to save the company $240 million per year and marks the first time since 1998 that Chesapeake has scraped the payments.

Chesapeake was slated to pay out an annual dividend of $0.35 per share.

The company said it plans to use the savings to develop high quality assets.

Chesapeake Energy boosted its 2015 production forecast earlier this year despite taking a $3.78 billion first quarter loss tied to low oil prices.

The company bumped up its 2015 production guidance from 640,000 to 650,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

In May, Chesapeake said it plans to add between 600 to 700 Eagle Ford locations following successful down spacing test results and it will test its first Upper Eagle Ford well in the 2015 fourth quarter.

Shares of Chesapeake were at $9.27 during early morning trading, down from $9.29 at Tuesday’s close.

The company’s stock price has fallen by more than 60 percent in the past year, Reuters added.


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