Chesapeake, which reported that long-term debt increased to $13.4 billion and faces a funding gap this year, said its plans to curb spending and sell assets to raise cash are on target.
Shares of Chesapeake rose nearly 5 percent in premarket trading.
First-quarter profit was $15 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $71 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Chesapeake had a per-share profit of 30 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 25 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Phil Weiss, energy company analyst at Argus in New York, said the company's oil production, which is more profitable than natural gas production, was higher than he forecast.
"In general, it looks like they are making progress," said Weiss. "They lowered their cost guidance on a couple of items so that's a good thing."
The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company, which is searching for a chief executive to replace Aubrey McClendon, said its average daily production grew 9 percent to 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day.
Oil production rose 56 percent to 103,000 barrels per day.
Production expenses fell 18 percent from a year earlier, while natural gas prices rose to $4.46 per thousand cubic feet equivalent (mcfe) from $4.02, and crude prices rose to $94.85 per barrel from $92.63.
Shares jumped to $20.45 in premarket trading from the New York Stock Exchange close of $19.54.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)