This excerpt taken from the CHK DEF 14A filed Apr 30, 2009.
2008 in Review
2008 was one of the most historic and unique years in Chesapeakes 20-year history. In summary, despite the precipitous decline in our common stock price from July 2008 through the end of the year (a decline of more than 75%)following the same trajectory as the decline in natural gas prices and the equity markets over the same periodthe Board determined that 2008 was an outstanding year for Chesapeake, distinguishable from previous years by the consummation of three of the most innovative and profitable joint venture partnerships in our industrys recent history. A few highlights from 2008 include the following:
We believe the high degree of correlation in the declines depicted in this chart from July 2008 through December 2008 indicates that Chesapeakes common stock became an almost perfect proxy for natural gas, and is not reflective of the value created by the Companys management team and employees operationally and through the innovative and profitable joint venture transactions we completed in the second half of 2008. Nevertheless, Chesapeakes value creation accomplishments of 2008 were real, and they remain embedded in our Company to be recognized and rewarded in the months and years ahead.
We believe we have prepared the Company well to withstand tough financial markets and low near-term natural gas prices. We also believe that the competitive advantages we have created through our size, asset base quality and depth and skill of our executive and employee talent have positioned us to prosper through 2009, 2010 and for decades to come. Our management team and employees are well deserving of reward for their outstanding accomplishments in 2008 and it is in the Companys and our shareholders best interests to incentivize and retain them to continue navigating the difficult industry challenges facing the Company and its peers today and to be ready to execute the opportunistic strategies that were initiated in 2008.