) declared that it will raise list and off-list selling prices
for Vinyl Acetate Monomer in Europe by €20 ($26.4) per metric
ton. The price hike is effective immediately or as per the
contracts. This follows a hike of €50 ($66.1) per metric ton for
the same product on Jul 1, 2013.
Earlier to this, Celanese increased list and off-list selling
prices for the same product by €60 ($79.2) per metric ton in
Europe on Jan 11, 2013, which was effective from Jan 15, 2013.
Celanese's acetyl products, which include vinyl acetate monomer,
acetic acid, acetic anhydride, and acetate esters, are used as
starting materials for colorants, paints, adhesives, coatings and
medicines. Acetyl products also provide organic solvents and
intermediates for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and chemical
products. These products fall under the company's Acetyl
Celanese posted its second-quarter 2013 results on Jul 18. The
company's adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.12
per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.16. Earnings
(as reported) from continuing operations were 83 cents a share in
the quarter, down 40% from $1.38 recorded a year ago. Sales in
the quarter were $1,653 million, down 1.3% year over year,
missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,661 million.
Acetyl Intermediates segment sales were almost in line with the
previous quarter and came in at $809 million. Adjusted EBIT
decreased 16.5% sequentially to $66 million owing to flat volumes
and prices as a result of weak global demand for acetyl
derivative products in Europe and Asia. The company also faced
raw material supply issue at one of its facilities along with
company and customer turnarounds in vinyl acetate monomer (VAM)
that unfavorably impacted segment income.
Celanese expects the challenging economic conditions to persist
throughout 2013. For 2013, it expects earnings growth on the back
of company-specific initiatives to be consistent with its
long-term growth plan of 12%. However, the company remains
concerned that further decline in global demand would affect its
Celanese has taken up cost-cutting measures and the necessary
steps to run its plants more efficiently to counter weak demand.
Moreover, it is aggressively expanding its capacities in the
emerging Asian markets. The company's strong presence in the
emerging markets should enable it to deliver incremental earnings
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the chemical industry having favorable
Zacks Rank are
Cytec Industries Inc.
Eastman Chemical Co.
). All of them carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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