Chesapeake rescue has CEO Lawler looking overseas for growth


Chesapeake Energy (CHK +0.6%) CEO Doug Lawler may take the company he inherited from founder Aubrey McClendon to the one place his deals-obsessed predecessor never wanted to go: overseas.

According to a Bloomberg profile, Lawler’s immediate goals are to curb spending and sell enough gas fields and side businesses so CHK’s expenses aren’t outstripping its cash flow for the first time in more than a decade, but his long-term ambition is to amass foreign fields and transform CHK from a U.S. shale driller into a global oil explorer in the mold of his former employer Anadarko.

The question for now is whether Lawler can ever get there: Despite the drastic cost-cutting, CHK's net debt has stubbornly hovered ~$12B, triple the size of Chevron’s, a company more than 10x larger by market value.

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