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Oklahoma's Fourth S&P 500 Company


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This is from a few days back. Chesapeake has been added to the S&P 500. It's Oklahoma's fourth and the third for Oklahoma City. All four are energy industry corporations.

Chesapeake joining S&P 500

By Adam Wilmoth

The Oklahoman

Chesapeake Energy Corp. will join an elite club of industry leaders this week, becoming listed among the S&P 500.

Standard & Poor's officially invited the Oklahoma City energy company among its loftiest ranks Tuesday. Chesapeake will replace Ohio-based auto parts manufacturer Dana Corp. on the index Thursday.

"It will be an exciting day," said Tom Price, Chesapeake's senior vice president of corporate development. "It's further indication that the company and its importance to the country is being appreciated by S&P."

Often viewed as a proxy of the publicly traded stock market, the S&P 500 includes many of the country's largest, most actively traded companies.

"They'll be playing to a whole new crowd," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Tulsa-based Longbow Asset Management Corp. "Being listed among the S&P 500 index will give Chesapeake exposure to many more investors. I think there will be a lot of people who will be interested in Chesapeake now who maybe haven't checked out the company before. It's like they're in the club now."

Many large investment firms and advisers buy only stocks listed among the S&P index, Dollarhide said.

The addition of Chesapeake gives Oklahoma four companies on the index. The others are Devon Energy Corp., Kerr-McGee Corp. and Williams Cos. Inc. Besides the benefits for the individual companies, Dollarhide said the inclusion of another Oklahoma company reflects well on the entire state.

"At a minimum, it's certainly a nice recognition for the state," Dollarhide said. "It also shows there are talented individuals running some very important companies."

One irony, however, is that despite efforts to diversify the state's economy, all four of Oklahoma's S&P companies are oil and natural gas producers.

"The state certainly has diversified, but the energy sector is still leading the state," Dollarhide said.

While many civic and economic leaders have promoted the state's diversification, Price said being a leader in the energy industry will benefit Oklahoma for many years to come.

"We believe we are in an industry being seen more and more as critical to the smooth running of the U.S. economy," he said.

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