Celanese Corporation ( CE Quick Quote CE - Free Report) logged earnings from continuing operations of $504 million or $4.61 per share in first-quarter 2022, up from $324 million $2.83 in the year-ago quarter.
Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings were $5.54 per share, up 60% from $3.46 in the year-ago quarter. The figure topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.49.
Revenues of $2,538 million increased 41.2% year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,272.1 million.
Net sales in the Engineered Materials unit were $910 million in the first quarter, up 41.1% year over year. The segment witnessed record net sales in the quarter on pricing and volume increase. Volumes rose 23% and pricing increased 7% sequentially. The business continued to offset the most of the raw material, energy and logistics cost inflation through five consecutive quarters of price expansion.
The Acetyl Chain segment posted net sales of $1,538 million, up 45.6% year over year. The segment witnessed a 3% sequential decline in prices and an 8% sequential increase in volume. The business shifted more volume to the Western Hemisphere and captured higher pricing downstream in VAM. The company offset the impacts of production by leveraging its global footprint and sourcing from the industry.
Net sales in the Acetate Tow segment were $125 million, up 5% year over year. The company witnessed a 3% increase in pricing and a 6% decline in volume in the segment on a sequential-comparison basis.
Celanese ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $605 million, down 23.5% year over year. The long-term debt was flat year over year at $3,132 million.
Celanese generated an operating cash flow of $316 million and a free cash flow of $175 million in first-quarter 2022. Capital expenditures amounted to $137 million.
The company also returned $73 million to shareholders through dividend payouts during the quarter.
Celanese stated that it continues to demonstrate the capability of its Engineered Materials and Acetyl Chain business models to deliver solid performance amid continued cost inflation and various external disruptions to its supply chain.
With moderation in the pricing of upstream products within the Acetyl Chain, the company expects strength in downstream Acetyl Chain products and continued strong performance in Engineered Materials will drive second-quarter adjusted earnings of roughly $4.50 per share.
Celanese’s shares have declined 8.7% in the past year compared with an 18.7% fall of the
industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are
The Mosaic Company ( MOS Quick Quote MOS - Free Report) , AdvanSix Inc. ( ASIX Quick Quote ASIX - Free Report) and Allegheny Technologies Incorporated ( ATI Quick Quote ATI - Free Report) .
Mosaic has a projected earnings growth rate of 143.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MOS' current-year earnings has been revised 39.7% upward in the past 60 days.
Mosaic’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, while missing once. It delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 3.7%, on average. MOS has rallied around 78.6% in a year and currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see
the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 54.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ASIX’s current-year earnings has been revised 43.6% upward in the past 60 days.
AdvanSix’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 23.6%. ASIX has surged 47.3% in a year. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1.
Allegheny, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has an expected earnings growth rate of 707.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATI's earnings for the current year has been revised 6.1% upward in the past 60 days.
Allegheny’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 127.2%. ATI has rallied around 15.4% over a year.