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02/09/16 10:30:05 AM

Movers: Chesapeake Energy Corporation, LendingTree, Inc., TEGNA Inc.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation(CHK) : Statement contradicts report that sent the gas giant's shares plummeting. Chesapeake Energy logo Chesapeake Energy(CHK) said the U.S. natural gas giant has no plans to seek bankruptcy protection, contradicting a report that sent the company's shares plunging Monday. "Chesapeake currently has no plans to pursue bankruptcy and is aggressively seeking to maximize value for all shareholders," the Oklahoma City-based company said Monday. The statement rebutted a Debtwire report on Friday that said Chesapeake recently brought on restructuring attorneys from the Kirkland & Ellis law firm "to discuss balance sheet solutions" as the nation's second-largest natural gas producer tries to cope with the worldwide decline in commodity prices. The law firm has served as one of Chesapeake's counsels since 2010, "and continues to advise the company as it seeks to further strengthen its balance sheet," the company said. The announcement helped Chesapeake's stock stage a partial recovery from an intra-day Monday plunge that sent the shares as low as $1.51a more than 50% drop. Automatic circuit breakers halted trading in Chesapeake shares several times during the plunge. Chesapeake was down about 34% to $2.01 a share in early afternoon trading, signaling that investors are bearish on the firm'sfinancial future. The company issued billions of dollars inbond debt to fund new gas and oil sources during the last several years, taking advantage of favorable bond market conditions. But looming repayments weighed on the company's bottom line, even as commodity prices tanked. Amid high global supply, benchmark U.S. crude has traded near the $30-a-barrel mark in recent weeks, down from a 52-week high of $71.73 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Natural gas futures contracts have rebounded from December lowsbut still remain below September levels. Latelast year, Chesapeake announced an exchange designed to reduce the company's debt leverage. The plan offered up to $1.5 billion of new8% senior secured second liennotes due in 2022 in exchange for bonds with nearer term maturity dates. The exchange lowered the company's overall debt by about$1.4 billion, to $10.4 billion. However, the bulk of the exchanges included bonds with long-term maturities, Chesapeake reportedin late December.

LendingTree, Inc.(TREE) : On Monday, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey issued a report on Lendingtree Inc (NASDAQ: TREE) amid concerns over the future growth of the company. Currently, analysts at SunTrust rate LendingTree as a Buy, while lowering their price target from $120 to $90. Robert Peck and Matthew Thornton, analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, wrote, "LendingTree shares have declined more than 30 percent in the year-to-date on a variety of investor concerns ranging from macro to company-specific issues [...]While we reduce PT to $90 from $120 to reflect a re-rated market, we think the risk-reward is favorable. Reiterate Buy." Related Link: Analysts Say LendingTree's 25% Selloff Is Unjustified Key Catalysts Moving Forward Analysts at SunTrust highlighted two key catalysts that could drive the company going forward: 1. Top-Line Growth SunTrust believes Wall Street's estimate of 25 percent year-over-year top-line growth for 2016 is conservative given LendingTree's 2015 revenue growth of around 50 percent. If LendingTree can grow its loans at a higher rate than estimates, the company's stock value could increase substantially. 2. Advertising Investments The analysts noted that LendingTree spent over $1 million on TV commercials in 2015. This investment has the potential to drive revenue growth and demand for their financial services over the following quarters, as new customers see the company's value proposition. However, the advertising expense may put pressure on LendingTree margins, which SunTrust believes investors have to be prepared for. At the time of this publication, LendingTree was seen trading at $54.93, down 8.53 percent. Image Credit: Public Domain

TEGNA Inc.(TGNA) : MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) will host its fourth-quarter 2015 earnings conference call with financial analysts on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The call will be accessible live to the media and general public via webcast and through a limited number of dial-in conference lines. TEGNA's earnings announcement will be released to news outlets and wire services before the market opens on February 16. Materials related to the call will be available at that time through the Investor Relations section of TEGNA's website, The live webcast will be accessible through the company's website. To listen to the live webcast, and click on the link to the webcast. Allow at least 10 minutes to access TEGNA's home page and complete the links before the webcast begins. To access the conference call, dial 800-768-6570 at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 10:00 a.m. (ET) start of the call. International callers should dial 785-830-1942. The confirmation code for the conference call is 1416348. A replay of the conference call will be available under "Investor Relations" from Tuesday, February 16 at 2 p.m. (ET) to Tuesday, March 1 at 2 p.m. (ET). To access the replay, dial 888-203-1112. International callers should use the number 719-457-0820. The confirmation code for the replay is 1416348. A transcript of the conference call also will be made available on the company's website. About TEGNA TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), formerly Gannett Co., Inc., is comprised of a dynamic portfolio of media and digital businesses that provide content that matters and brands that deliver. TEGNA reaches more than 90 million Americans and delivers highly relevant, useful and smart content, when and how people need it, to make the best decisions possible. TEGNA Media includes 46 television stations (including those serviced by TEGNA) and is the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. TEGNA Digital is comprised of, the leading online destination for automotive consumers, CareerBuilder, a global leader in human capital solutions, and other powerful brands such as G/O Digital and Cofactor. For more information, visit View source version on TEGNA Inc.For media inquiries, contact:Jeremy GainesVice President, Corporate Communications703-854-6049jmgaines@TEGNA.comorFor investor inquiries, contact:Jeffrey HeinzVice President, Investor Source: TEGNA Inc.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation(CHK) : Feb. 08--Chesapeake Energy Corp. is not pursuing bankruptcy, the company said Monday morning in response to published reports that sent the stock price crashing. "Chesapeake currently has no plans to pursue bankruptcy and is aggressively seeking to maximize value for shareholders," the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company said in a statement. The statement was issued after a report from Debtwire said Chesapeake had hired a firm to help it restructure its $9.8 billion debt. Chesapeake said Monday that Kirkland & Ellis LLP has advised the company since 2010 and continues to provide advice as it "seeks to further strengthen its balance sheet following its recent debt exchange." Chesapeake shares tumbled as much as 50 percent Monday morning before recovering some ground. Trading was halted several times because of volatility. As of 10:30 a.m. the stock was stalled down $1.07, or 35 percent, at $1.99. Like most oil and natural gas firms, Chesapeake shares have been battered by low oil prices over the past 18 months. Chesapeake stock is down more than 90 percent over the past year. ___ (c)2016 The Oklahoman Visit The Oklahoman at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.(IPG) : Pivotal Research upgrades The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) from Hold to Buy.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation(CHK) : NEW YORK Chesapeake Energy sought to assure investors Monday that it is not planning to file for bankruptcy protection after a news report saying it hired a law firm sent its stock plummeting. The energy company says it is working with Kirkland & Ellis to "strengthen its balance sheet" and currently has "no plans" to file for bankruptcy. Chesapeake says the law firm has advised the company for about 6 years. Chesapeake, which is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country, has struggled as natural gas prices have declined. The Oklahoma City company has slashed spending and cut jobs to save money. Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. fell more than 50 per cent to $1.50 Monday before trading was halted. Its shares are down about 93 per cent in the last year.

Equifax Inc.(EFX) : VEDA shareholders have overwhelmingly endorsed a $2.5 billion takeover offer from US data analytics giant Equifax. More than 99.9 per cent of shareholder votes in the Australian credit reporting business backed the takeover deal, which will see Equifax acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Veda. The merger remains subject to court approval but is expected to be implemented on February 25.Veda shares closed flat at $2.82.

Equifax Inc.(EFX) : Acquisitions: Veda shareholders have overwhelmingly endorsed a $2.5 billion takeover offer from US data analytics giant Equifax. More than 99.9 per cent of shareholder votes in the Australian credit reporting business backed the takeover deal, which will see Equifax acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Veda. The merger remains subject to court approval, but is expected to be implemented on February 25. Veda shareholders who hold shares on the record date, which is expected to be February 18, will receive a cash payment of $2.825 per share on the implementation date. Veda provides credit reporting, credit scoring and marketing analytics services, and is a major provider of credit information in Australia and New Zealand. Veda also operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia. The firm was previously run as Baycorp Advantage, after a merger of Australian company Data Advantage and New Zealand Company Baycorp in 2001.Veda reported an annual net profit of $77.9 million in the 2015 financial year, up from $22.4m a year earlier. At the market close, Veda shares were flat at $2.82.

Centene Corp.(CNC) : ST. LOUIS, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that its subsidiary, Nebraska Total Care, has been selected by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services' (DHSS) Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care as one of three managed care organizations (MCO) to administer its Heritage Health program. Heritage Health is a new healthcare delivery system that combines Nebraska's current physical health, behavioral health, and pharmacy programs into a single comprehensive and coordinated system for 230,000 Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. Nebraska Total Care has been selected to operate statewide. "We are pleased and honored to be selected to offer coordinated healthcare services and programs to the people of Nebraska," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO for Centene. "Nebraska will be the 24th state in which Centene operates and is a continued example of Centene's dedication to providing innovative health solutions at the local level for the members and states we serve." "Nebraska Total Care is pleased to partner with the State of Nebraska to bring member and provider-centric services as part of the Heritage Health program," said Brent Layton, Senior Vice President, Chief Business Development Officer for Centene. "We look forward to implementing our innovative care management value-added programs to address the whole person, including social determinants that impact one's health." According to DHSS' timeline, DHSS will work with the Division of Administrative Services (DAS) to execute final contracts with the chosen MCOs. The new contracts are expected to commence on January 1, 2017, pending regulatory approvals. About Centene CorporationCentene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long Term Care (LTC), in addition to other state-sponsored/hybrid programs, and Medicare. The Company operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, care management software, correctional systems healthcare, in-home health services, life and health management, managed vision, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services. Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the Company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: SOURCE Centene Corporation

WEX Inc.(WEX) : Shaers of WEX Inc (NYSE: WEX), a provider of corporate payment solutions, tumbled more than 15 percent on Monday and hit a new 52-week low of $54.42 after the company reported its fourth quarter results and disappointing 2016 guidance. Wex said that it earned $1.15 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $212.6 million. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.05 per share on revenue of $202.6 million. Net earnings attributable to common shareholders on a GAAP basis were $20.9 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.54 per diluted share, compared with $47.9 million, or $1.23 per diluted share a year ago. For the full fiscal year, revenue rose 5 percent from 2014's level to $854.6 million but net earnings attributable to shareholders fell to $2.62 per share from $5.18 per share a year ago. Melissa Smith, WEX's president and chief executive officer said: "We exit 2015 with solid fundamentals, a strong underlying growth engine and a portfolio of high-performing products that are both diverse and global. Though we anticipate that the headwinds of 2015 will continue, we are confident in our ability to achieve organic growth in the coming year. We believe the combination of this growth, coupled with our strategic investments, including recently announced acquisitions, position us well in the marketplace." Looking forward to the first quarter of 2016, Wex is guiding its revenue to a range of $190 million to $204.4 million. For the full fiscal year, the company expects its revenue to be in a range of $860 million to $890 million.

CTS Corporation(CTS) : Shares of CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS) were trading lower by more than 7 percent on Monday and hit a new 52-week low of $12.90 after the company reported its fourth quarter results. CTS earned $0.20 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $93.3 million. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.25 per share on revenue of $99 million. GAAP loss for the quarter totaled $13.7 million (or $0.42 per share) in the quarter compared to an earnings of $7.0 million (or $0.21 per share) in the same quarter a year ago. The company noted that its quarterly GAAP loss includes a discrete tax charge of $0.34 per share and restructuring related charges of $0.28 per share. Sales for the full fiscal year fell 5.4 percent to $382.3 million as currency impacted total sales unfavorably by $7.8 million. Adjusted earnings per share for the full year also fell to $0.93 per share from $0.97 in 2014. Looking forward to fiscal 2016, CTS guided its earnings per share to a range of $0.95 to $1.05 on revenue of $390 million to $400 million. Wall Street analysts were already estimating the company to earn $1.04 per share on revenue of $397.6 million.


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