Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Celanese (CE) to Hold

Celanese (NYSE:CE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Celanese’s first-quarter earnings estimates have been stable lately. The company’s strategic measures that include acquisitions and operational cost savings through productivity actions will support earnings. It should also gain from expansion in emerging regions. However, Celanese issued a downbeat earnings guidance for 2019. The company is exposed to headwinds from weak acetate tow pricing and soft acetyl demand. Low utilization rates across the tow industry are hurting prices of acetate tow. Moreover, economic weakness across Europe and Asia is expected to affect the company’s results in first-half 2019. The company also faces headwinds from raw material cost inflation. Its balance sheet leverage is also relatively high.  Celanese has also underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.”

A number of other analysts have also recently issued reports on CE. ValuEngine upgraded Celanese from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. BMO Capital Markets cut Celanese from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $107.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. KeyCorp lowered their price objective on Celanese from $145.00 to $125.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Celanese in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Finally, Cowen cut Celanese from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $122.00 to $108.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $115.24.

Shares of CE stock opened at $103.20 on Tuesday. Celanese has a 12 month low of $82.91 and a 12 month high of $119.29. The company has a market cap of $13.20 billion, a PE ratio of 9.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.62 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

Celanese (NYSE:CE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 28th. The basic materials company reported $2.38 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.40 by ($0.02). Celanese had a return on equity of 40.37% and a net margin of 16.87%. The business had revenue of $1.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.98 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Celanese will post 10.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its position in Celanese by 23.1% in the fourth quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 273,162 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $24,576,000 after acquiring an additional 51,275 shares during the period. DNB Asset Management AS grew its position in Celanese by 20.1% in the fourth quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 23,991 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,158,000 after acquiring an additional 4,011 shares during the period. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. grew its position in Celanese by 14.6% in the fourth quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 71,746 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $6,454,000 after acquiring an additional 9,143 shares during the period. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its position in Celanese by 121.8% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 1,730 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $156,000 after acquiring an additional 950 shares during the period. Finally, Coastline Trust Co grew its holdings in shares of Celanese by 2.8% during the fourth quarter. Coastline Trust Co now owns 9,255 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $833,000 after purchasing an additional 255 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.45% of the company’s stock.

Celanese Company Profile

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, manufactures and sells high performance engineered polymers in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Engineered Materials, Acetate Tow, and Acetyl Chain segments. The Engineered Materials segment develops, produces, and supplies specialty polymers for automotive and medical applications, as well as for use in industrial products and consumer electronics.

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