Here’s Why Energy Stocks Got Drop Kicked Today

Energy stocks slumped Wednesday thanks in part to disappointing earnings from both Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) and Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO).

The S&P 500’s energy stocks fell 1.61 percent, pulled lower by companies like EQT Corp. (NYSE:EQT) and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) that took their cue from the two aforementioned energy giants.

Marathon reported first-quarter earnings of $417 million, or 59 cents per share, down from $996 million, or $1.39 per share, during the year-ago quarter.

Marathon shares closed the day down 4.34 percent to $28.88. Chesapeake’s stock dropped 14.59 percent to $14.74 by close and continued to move lower in after-hours trading.

Chesapeake has suffered from declines in natural gas prices that have hurt the industry as a whole. The company has also failed to produce its higher-priced liquids at the expected clip. Chesapeake reported first-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, missing expectations by 10 cents.

In addition to earnings woes, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon has come under fire recently for an alleged conflict of interest resulting from his personal stake in company wells. McClendon also allegedly ran a private hedge fund worth $200 million while acting as Chesapeake’s CEO, according to Reuters. McClendon stepped down as the company’s chairman but will remain on as CEO.