Shares of Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) are up around 16% over the past six months. The company has also outperformed its industry’s decline of roughly 3% over the same time frame. Moreover, it has outpaced the S&P 500’s rise of around 0.5%.
Celanese, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, has a market cap of roughly $14.6 billion and average volume of shares traded in the last three months was around 900.9K. The company has an expected long-term earnings per share growth rate of 7.1%.
Let’s delve deeper into the factors behind the stock’s price appreciation.
What's Going in CE’s Favor?
Forecast-topping earnings performance in the first two quarters of 2019 and compelling business prospects have contributed to the gain in Celanese’s shares. Celanese is benefiting from its inorganic growth actions, productivity measures and growth investments in organic projects amid a challenging environment.
The company remains focused on strengthening its businesses by executing its productivity programs and strategically investing in high-return projects. It is on track to commercialize more than 4,000 projects in 2019.
Celanese’s strategic measures including cost savings through productivity initiatives, price increase actions and efficiency enhancement are expected to support its earnings in 2019. The company is committed to execute its productivity programs that include implementation of a number of cost reduction capital projects.
Celanese also continues to actively pursue acquisitions, which are providing it opportunities for additional growth, investment and synergies. The acquisitions of SO.F.TER., Nilit and Omni Plastics are expected to significantly contribute to earnings expansion in the company's Engineered Materials segment.
The company is also implementing several process improvement projects across a global network of acetyls manufacturing plants. All these positions its Acetyl Chain unit for solid growth.
Celanese is also committed toward rewarding its shareholders with dividends and share buybacks, leveraging solid free cash flow generation. The company generated operating cash flow of $424 million and free cash flow of $356 million during the second quarter. It returned $378 million to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the quarter.
Stocks Worth a Look
Stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Arconic Inc (ARNC - Free Report) , Kinross Gold Corporation (KGC - Free Report) and Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Arconic has an estimated earnings growth rate of 50% for the current year. Its shares have moved up 14% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Kinross has projected earnings growth rate of 170% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged around 73% in a year’s time.
Alamos Gold has estimated earnings growth rate of 340% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied roughly 30% in a year’s time.
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