Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Celanese (CE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Celanese (NYSE:CE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Celanese’s strategic measures including acquisitions and operational cost savings through productivity actions are likely to lend support to earnings in 2018. Acquisitions including Nilit and Omni Plastics are expected to drive earnings in the Engineered Materials unit. The company is also poised to gain from expansion in emerging regions. Moreover, Celanese remains focused on returning value to shareholders. However, Celanese is exposed to headwinds from weak acetate tow pricing and soft acetyl demand. The company's balance sheet leverage is also relatively high.”

CE has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Financial Group boosted their target price on Celanese to $138.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, June 18th. Barclays boosted their price objective on Celanese from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. ValuEngine cut Celanese from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Citigroup reduced their price objective on Celanese from $134.00 to $118.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, Nomura reduced their price objective on Celanese from $120.00 to $108.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Monday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $124.29.

CE stock opened at $97.17 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $13.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 1.30. Celanese has a fifty-two week low of $95.45 and a fifty-two week high of $119.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.96 and a quick ratio of 1.39.

Celanese (NYSE:CE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The basic materials company reported $2.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.74 by $0.22. The firm had revenue of $1.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.81 billion. Celanese had a return on equity of 37.74% and a net margin of 16.57%. The firm’s revenue was up 13.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.93 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Celanese will post 10.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 29th will be paid a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 26th. Celanese’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.76%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. New York State Teachers Retirement System acquired a new position in shares of Celanese in the second quarter valued at approximately $100,000. First Bank & Trust increased its holdings in shares of Celanese by 106.4% in the third quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 1,092 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after purchasing an additional 563 shares during the period. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC increased its holdings in shares of Celanese by 93.2% in the second quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 1,449 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $161,000 after purchasing an additional 699 shares during the period. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Celanese in the second quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Finally, Quantum Capital Management acquired a new position in shares of Celanese in the second quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Institutional investors own 94.96% of the company’s stock.

Celanese Company Profile

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, manufactures and sells value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products worldwide. The company operates through Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, and Acetyl Intermediates segments.

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