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Chemical company Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) announced its plans to build a vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) emulsions production unit in Southeast Asia. The shares of the company rose as much as 1.7% during the trading hours following the announcement.

By expanding its VAE production network to Southeast Asia, the company will be able to better serve its customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region, mainly in the high-end applications of architectural coatings, building and construction, carpets, and paper industries. The unit is expected to commence production by mid-2016.

Recently, Celanese also announced the opening of a new Commercial Technology Center in the high technology valley of Pangyo, South Korea. The new center is the company’s second research and development facility in the Asia region.

The R&D center will support the technology and chemistry innovations which cater to industries, such as electrical and electronics, automotive, consumer products, and information technology, as well as the emerging markets of life sciences, robotics and semiconductors.

Celanese posted strong first-quarter 2014 results on Apr 21. It reported adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.33 per share, up 16.7% from $1.14 per share reported in the year-ago period. The results topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21 per share.

Profit from continued operations (as reported) came in at $1.25 per share in the first quarter, surging roughly 42% from the earlier year figure of 88 cents per share.

Sales in the quarter were $1,705 million, up 6.2% year over year, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,682 million.

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

Other companies in the chemical space with favorable Zacks Rank include Compass Minerals International Inc. (CMP - Snapshot Report), L'Air Liquide SA (AIQUY) and Koninklijke DSM N.V. (RDSMY). While Compass Minerals carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both L'Air Liquide and Koninklijke DSM hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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