By RTT News, October 18, 2013, 05:17:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Technology and specialty materials company Celanese Corp. ( CE ), Friday reported an increase in third-quarter profit, helped mainly by improved sales and lower selling expenses. Nonetheless, sales for the quarter came in short of Wall Street estimates.
For the full year 2014, Celanese expects earnings growth to be consistent with its long-term growth objective.
"Our global teams have done a tremendous job this year of driving earnings growth through Celanese-specific initiatives," said CEO Mark Rohr.
"As we take our initial view of 2014, we expect earnings growth will continue to be driven by the actions we are taking, not by depending upon increases from the global economy."
Irving, Texas-based Celanese reported third-quarter net earnings of $172 million or $1.08 per share, compared with $127 million or $0.79 per share last year.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $191 million or $1.20 per share.
On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $1.15 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Sales for the quarter increased to $1.64 billion from $1.61 billion a year ago. Analysts had a consensus sales estimate of $1.65 billion for the quarter.
Selling expenses declined to $97 million from $113 million in the prior year.
During the quarter, Celanese deployed $96 million of cash on share repurchases and has $290 million remaining at September 30 under its current buyback plan.
On Thursday, Celanese announced an expansion of its polyacetal (POM) manufacturing footprint in Asia to support its customers. As part of its growth strategy, Celanese revealed continued investment in, and expansion of, its joint venture agreements with Polyplastics in Malaysia, Korea Engineering Plastics in Korea, and SABIC in Saudi Arabia.
Celanese stock closed Friday at $53.98, down $0.26 or 0.48%, on a volume of 1.56 million shares on the NYSE. In after hours, the stock gained $1.02 or 1.89% at $55.00. In the past 52 weeks, the stock trended in the range of $36.18 - $54.73.
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