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Chemical company Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) announced that it will raise the price of vinyl acetate monomer by 3 cents per pound in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, by $70 per metric ton (MT) in Central and South America and in Asia outside China, by €50 per MT in Europe, and by RMB 400 per MT in China.

Celanese will also hike the price of ethyl acetate by 2 cents per pound in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, by $50 per MT in Central and South America and in Asia outside China, by €30 per MT in Europe.

Moreover, Celanese will raise the price of butyl acetate by €20 per MT in Europe and by $30 per MT in Asia outside China. Further, Celanese will increase the price of formaldehyde (37%) by 2 cents per pound in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The revision is effective immediately or as contracts permit. The price hike will remain in effect for third-quarter 2013.

Celanese also announced an increase in price of acetic acid in May 2013 by 4.5 cents per pound in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, by $100 per MT in Central and South America and in Asia outside China, by €75 per MT in Europe, and by RMB 600 per MT in China.

Celanese released its first quarter 2013 results in Apr 2013. The company reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.14 per share, outperforming the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 79 cents and exceeding the year-ago earnings of 79 cents per share by 44%. Earnings (as reported) from continuing operation were 88 cents a share in the quarter, down 27% from $1.21 recorded a year ago.

Sales in the quarter were $1,605 million, down 1.7% year over year, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,608 million.

Celanese is among the world’s largest producers of acetyl products apart from being the leading global producer of high-performance engineered polymers. The company’s strong presence in the emerging markets will enable it to deliver incremental earnings in 2013.

Celanese has taken up cost-cutting measures and the necessary steps to run its plants more efficiently to counter weak demand. It is aggressively expanding capacity in the emerging Asian markets. The company's expansion initiatives in China are expected to support earnings growth.
Celanese currently carries a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry having favorable Zacks Rank are Arkema S.A. (ARKAY), Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT - Snapshot Report) and FMC Corp. (FMC - Analyst Report). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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