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Celanese (CE) Set to Raise Price of Low Density Polyethylene

Celanese Corporation CE will raise the list and off-list selling prices of Low Density Polyethylene by 4 cents per lb in North and South America. The price hike will be effective from Mar 1, 2018 or as contracts permit.
The company is taking appropriate pricing actions amid a volatile raw material pricing environment. Celanese’s strategic measures include operational cost savings through productivity actions and pricing initiatives which are likely to provide an impetus to its earnings in 2018.
In the last six months, shares of the company have moved up 4.7%, underperforming the industry’s 10.9% growth.
Celanese has kept its earnings streak alive with a beat in fourth-quarter 2017. The company logged adjusted earnings per share of $1.98 in the quarter, up 30.3% from $1.52 a year ago. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.86.
In the fourth quarter, revenues of $1,593 million were up roughly 21.5% year over year. The top line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,530 million.
The company expects the Advanced Engineered Materials pipeline model to evolve into an increased level of project volume and the Acetyl Chain unit to carry the momentum forward. Meanwhile, tow earnings is anticipated to remain relatively flat. For 2018, Celanese expects adjusted earnings to grow in the 10-14% range with more growth to be witnessed in the first half of the year.
Celanese Corporation Price and Consensus

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Methanex Corporation MEOH, LyondellBasell Industries N.V. LYB and Cabot Corporation CBT. All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Methanex has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Its shares have rallied 12.8% over a year.
LyondellBasell has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9%. The company’s shares have gained 17.8% in a year.
Cabot has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 10%. Its shares have moved up 12.4% over a year.
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