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Best of the Blogs: New Chesapeake Chairman Sparks Optimism for the Company


Plus, Google may change the interface of its search engine.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Fuel Fix
Link: Analysts encouraged by Chesapeake's new chairman

"Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) has turned to a former ConocoPhillips (COP) CEO with a Marine background to serve as chairman of the cash-strapped company, as it looks it soothe shareholder concerns over the company's finances.

"Archie Dunham was named Thursday as non-executive chairman of the board of directors for the second-largest US natural gas producer after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) Aubrey McClendon, who was chairman, remains as CEO and president and on the board of directors.

"Dunham's selection encouraged analysts, although several said they are waiting to see if the company does enough to revamp its current strategy, which has resulted in too much debt."

Venture Beat
Link: Looks like Google is testing a radically different search interface [Video]

"Google (GOOG) may be in the process of testing a new web search interface that transforms the left-hand sidebar into horizontal bar on top of the results, according to a video obtained by Techno-Net.

"The leaked interface clearly takes inspiration from Google's tablet interface for search. Like the sidebar that's been there for years, the horizontal bar lists Web, Images, Maps, Videos, News, Shopping, and a More tab that lists other Google services."

The Wall Street Journal: Honda Says Its U.S. Recovery is On Track
Link: Honda Says Its U.S. Recovery is On Track

"Honda Motor Co.'s (HMC) deputy chief of global sales said Friday that the auto maker will recover its unsteady footing in the US market 'in one swift stroke' based on a fresher vehicle line-up, including a new Accord sedan due out this fall.

"Honda's US market share has shrunk-dropping to 9% last year, from 10.6% in 2010 and 11% in 2009-due to sluggish sales in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and production disruptions from natural disasters in Japan and Thailand last year.

"Its sales in the US fell by 7.1% to 1.15 million vehicles in 2011, the lowest since 1999."

The New York Times: DealBook
Link: As Facebook Seeks Answers, S.E.C. Investigates Exchanges

"Nasdaq has blamed Facebook's (FB) botched debut last month on flawed computers and 'technical errors.'

"Regulators suspect it may be something more. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into the exchange for its role in the initial public offering of Facebook, according to people briefed on the inquiry. Regulators are examining whether Nasdaq failed to properly test its trading systems, which broke down during the IPO., and whether the exchange violated rules when it rewrote computer code to jump-start trading.

"The Facebook investigation comes after a broader inquiry into trading breakdowns and other problems at the nation's largest exchanges, including two previously undisclosed cases involving Nasdaq's archrival, the New York Stock Exchange (^AMZI), the people said."

Financial Times: BeyondBRICS
Link: S Korea: the big 'buy'

"The toughest task in being an analyst in Korea seems to be to put a 'sell' call on a stock. You have to be extremely brave to tell your clients to sell their shares in a company, according to Korean analysts.

"The numbers bear that out. According to statistics from Korea Financial Investment Association, there was only one "sell" recommendation last year out of about 80,000 research reports. Analysts rated most Korean stocks they cover as a "buy," issuing "buy" recommendations on more than 80% of stocks.

"They recommended 'hold' on 6.4% of the stocks they covered while putting 'underweight' recommendation on just five stocks, the association said."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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