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Celanese (CE) Declares Acetic Acid Price Hike in China


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Chemical and advanced materials maker, Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) said that it is raising the list and off-list selling prices of acetic acid by RMB 200/MT in China in view of recent market conditions. The price hike will be effective immediately or as contracts permit.

Last month, Celanese also raised the list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA polymers by 3 cents per pound in North and South America. Moreover, the company hiked the list and off-list selling prices for Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIBK) and Methyl Isobutyl Carbinol (MIBC) both by 5 cents per pound in North and South America.

Celanese, in its second-quarter 2016 earnings call, noted that recent events have added further uncertainties to economic growth expectations. However, it sees a relatively stable economic landscape across the U.S. and Europe for the rest of 2016.

The company retained its expectations of 8–10% growth in adjusted earnings per share for 2016, factoring in the benefits of productivity actions and operational excellence as well as strength of commercial models.

Celanese’s strategic measures including productivity and efficiency improvement actions should lend support to its earnings in 2016. The company should also gain from capacity expansion and growth initiatives in the emerging regions, including Asia. Moreover, Celanese continues to generate strong cash flows and remains focused on returning value to its shareholders.

However, Celanese is exposed to pricing pressure and is still witnessing soft acetyl demand in China given the sluggish economic conditions. Acetyl intermediates margins are anticipated to remain strained in the near term.

Celanese’s shares closed around 0.6% higher at $66.43 on Oct 10.

Celanese is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked companies in the chemical space include Univar Inc. (UNVR - Snapshot Report) , The Chemours Company (CC - Snapshot Report) and Cabot Corporation (CBT - Snapshot Report) .

Univar sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has an expected earnings growth of 244.4% for the current year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Chemours has an expected earnings growth of around 20.3% for the current year. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1.

Cabot, currently holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has an expected earnings growth of roughly 12.1% for the current year.

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