Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) is set to hike selling prices for Ateva EVA Polymers in Asia by $80 per MT. The company stated that the price hike is effective immediately for orders shipped to Asia or as contracts permit.
Celanese is undertaking price-increase initiatives in the wake of headwinds stemming from raw material cost inflation. The company is facing higher raw material costs across most of its business segments as witnessed in 2018.
Margins in the Acetate Tow segment are affected by higher acetyls raw material costs. The company is also seeing higher costs for acetic acid and methanol in the Acetyl Chain unit. Also, input cost pressure is likely to persist.
Celanese’s shares have lost 5.9% in the past year, against the industry’s 2% rise.
The company is exposed to economic weakness across Asia and Europe, which is leading to a slowdown in demand. Notably, Celanese witnessed demand slowdown during fourth-quarter 2018 and the sluggishness is likely to continue through the first half of 2019.
Considering a slower start and expected moderation during the fourth quarter of 2019, the company has issued downbeat earnings guidance for 2019. It expects adjusted earnings per share for 2019 to be roughly $10.50, reflecting a decline from $11.00 in 2018.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
A few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (KL - Free Report) , Ingevity Corporation (NGVT - Free Report) and Materion Corporation (MTRN - Free Report) , all currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Kirkland has an expected earnings growth rate of 8.8% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 133.9% in the past year.
Ingevity has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.9% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 34.8% in a year’s time.
Materion has an expected earnings growth rate of 12.6% for 2019. Its shares have gained 4.8% in a year’s time.
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