) reached a new 52-week high of $66.35 on Jul 7, eclipsing its
previous high of $66.33. The stock pulled back to end the trading
session at $65.80 on that day.
The chemical major, which has a market cap of around $10.3 billion,
has seen its shares jump roughly 20% so far this year and 46% over
a year, outperforming the gains in the S&P 500 for both
periods. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months
is around 982.9K. The company's long-term projected EPS growth is
What's Driving Celanese Up?
Celanese, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, posted better-than-expected
first-quarter 2014 results on Apr 21. Both revenues and adjusted
earnings for the quarter topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The
company has delivered positive earnings surprises in three of the
trailing four quarters with an average surprise of 3.45%.
Celanese expects earnings to rise 12% to 14% in 2014, driven by
company-specific initiatives including innovation of new products
and enhancement of efficiencies through productivity.
Celanese's strong presence in emerging markets will enable it to
deliver incremental earnings this year. The company has taken up
cost-cutting measures and the necessary steps to run its plants
better and counter weak demand.
Celanese is also aggressively expanding its capacity in the
emerging Asian markets. Its expansion initiatives in China are
expected to support earnings growth. Celanese's integrated chemical
complex in Nanjing, China serves as a base for expansion in Asia,
supporting the region's increasing demand.
Moreover, Celanese continues to generate strong cash flows and
remains focused on returning value to its shareholders. The
company, in Apr 2014, raised its quarterly dividend by 39% to 25
cents per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other companies in the chemical space worth considering include
KMG Chemicals Inc.
LyondellBasell Industries NV
). While KMG Chemicals sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both
Ashland and LyondellBasell hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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