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Chemical company Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) declared that it will raise the prices of all GUR and GHR UHMW-PE grades sold in China by 15% effective May 1, 2014, or as per contracts.

Recently, Celanese announced that it will raise the price of Ateva ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) by 6 cents per pound due to the worldwide unavailability of Vinyl Acetate Monomer. The price hike is effective April 1, 2014, or per contracts.

On Mar 7, Celanese also increased prices of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in the Americas. The company will increase PVAc homopolymer, vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) and vinyl copolymer emulsions prices by up to 3 cents per wet pound. The revision will be effective April 1, 2014, or as contracts permit.

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 plans. 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 increase 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 PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Analyst Report), Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT - Snapshot Report) and The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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