In a stunning reversal of fortune, Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s (NYSE: CHK) CEO put out a press release after the close of trading on Friday disclosing that he "involuntarily sold substantially all of his shares of Chesapeake common stock over the past three days in order to meet margin loan call."
Aubrey K. McClendon stated that "I am very disappointed to have been required to sell substantially all of my shares of Chesapeake. These involuntary and unexpected sales were precipitated by the extraordinary circumstances of the worldwide financial crisis. In no way do these sales reflect my view of the company's financial position or my view of Chesapeake's future performance potential. I have been the company's largest individual shareholder for the past three years and frequently purchased additional shares of stock on margin as an expression of my complete confidence in the value of the company's strategy and assets. My confidence in Chesapeake remains undiminished, and I look forward to rebuilding my ownership position in the company in the months and years ahead."
Read the Form 4 here. It's a little bit sad to watch this happen. McClendon's stake in Chesapeake landed him at number 134 on the 2008 Forbes list, He is also a part owner of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.
It's now clear what one major driver of the sell-off in the company's shares this week was -- it may have presented a buying opportunity and, while it's sad to see someone wiped out, this aggressive insider buys with borrowed funds indicate strong confidence in the company.