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Celanese (CE) Set to Increase Prices of Acetyls Products

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Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) is set to hike the list and off-list selling prices for MIBC and MIBK acetyls products. The hike is effective Jun 1, 2019 or as contracts permit.

In the United States and Canada, prices of MIBC and MIBK products will increase by 7 cents per pound. The prices of these products in Mexico and South America will increase by $155 per metric ton (MT). In Asia, the prices for MIBC will rise by $100 per MT.

Celanese is undertaking price-increase initiatives in the wake of raw material cost inflation. The company’s strategic measures including operational cost savings through productivity actions and price hike initiatives are likely to provide an impetus to its 2019 earnings.

Celanese’s shares have lost 12.1% over a year, against the industry’s 1.2% rise.

The company’s adjusted earnings were $2.62 a share in the first quarter, down from $2.79 in the year-ago quarter. Nevertheless, the figure topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.49.

The company backed its adjusted earnings per share guidance of roughly $10.50 for 2019, considering that underlying fundamentals will start to improve later in the year.  

The company does not expect improvement in demand in the second quarter. It anticipates second-quarter performance to be similar to first-quarter levels. Celanese will continue to invest in its businesses and further expand capability to boost growth and shareholders’ value.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Materion Corporation MTRN, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. FSUGY and AngloGold Ashanti Limited AU, all currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Materion has an expected earnings growth rate of 23.1% for 2019. The company’s shares have gained 18.1% in the past year.

Fortescue Metals has an impressive projected earnings growth rate of 101.5% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged 73.5% in a year’s time.

AngloGold has an estimated earnings growth rate of 86.8% for the current year. Its shares have rallied 40% in the past year.

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