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Chemical company Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) announced that it will raise the selling prices of vinyl acetate monomer by 2 cents per pound in the U.S. and Canada, by $60 per metric ton (MT) in Mexico and Central and South America, by €50 per MT in Europe, and by $40 per MT in Asia outside China.

Celanese will also hike the selling price of acetic acid by $20 per MT in Asia outside China. The price increases for acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer is in addition to the previously declared price hike on Aug 26 and Aug 29, respectively, for China that remain in effect for fourth-quarter 2013.

Celanese will also hike the selling price of ethyl acetate by €50 per MT in Europe and by $20 per MT in Asia outside China. Moreover, Celanese will raise the price of butyl acetate by €35 per MT in Europe and by $20 per MT in Asia outside China.

Further, Celanese will increase the selling price of formaldehyde (37%) by 2 cents per pound in the U.S. and will hike the price of Paraformaldehyde by 6 cents per pound in the U.S. and Canada and by $130 per MT in Mexico and Central and South America.

The revision is effective Oct 1, 2013, or as contracts permit.

Celanese, a prominent player in the chemical industry along with DuPont (DD - Analyst Report), Dow Chemical (DOW - Analyst Report) and Eastman Chemical (EMN - Analyst Report), released its second-quarter 2013 results on Jul 18. The company reported adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.12 per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.16.

Earnings (as reported) from continuing operation were 83 cents a share in the quarter, down 40% from $1.38 recorded a year ago. Sales in the quarter were $1,653 million, down 1.3% year over year, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,661 million.

Celanese is among the world’s largest producers of acetyl products as well as the leading global producer of high-performance engineered polymers. Celanese plans to cut costs and run its plants more efficiently to counter weak demand.

Moreover, it is aggressively expanding capacity in the emerging Asian markets. The company’s strong presence in the emerging markets should enable it to deliver incremental earnings in 2013.

Celanese expects the challenging economic conditions to persist throughout 2013. For 2013, it expects earnings growth on the back of company-specific initiatives to be consistent with its long-term growth plan of 12%. However, the company remains concerned that further decline in global demand would affect its future performance.

Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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