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Specialty materials company Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) announced that it will raise prices for vinyl acetate-based dispersions sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Celanese will increase PVAc homopolymer, vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) and vinyl copolymer dispersions prices by up to €50 per metric ton. The revision will be effective Apr 1, 2014, or as contracts permit.

This price revision is in addition to the previous price hike of up to €25 per metric ton for the same products, declared on Jan 17, 2014, which was effective from Feb 1 or as the contracts permit.

This price rise is also applicable in all the sectors including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, building and construction, nonwovens, glass fiber, carpet, paper and textiles where vinyl acetate-based dispersions are used.

Celanese posted its fourth-quarter 2013 results on Jan 23. The company’s earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.04 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.01.
Earnings (as reported) from continuing operations came in at $4.16 per share in the quarter, as against a loss of $1.05 recorded a year ago.

Sales in the quarter were $1,616 million, up 7.7% year over year, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,560 million.

For 2014, Celanese expects earnings growth on the back of company-specific initiatives to be consistent with its long-term growth plan. The company-specific initiatives including innovation of new products and enhancement of efficiencies through productivity are expected to drive earnings growth in 2014. Celanese expects to grow adjusted Earnings before Interest and taxes (EBIT) by roughly $100 million on the back of its strategic actions.
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering include Northern Technologies International Corp. , The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report) and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Analyst Report). While Northern Technologies carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Dow and PPG hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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