Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) shares gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $68.83, but opened at $69.06. Celanese Corp. shares last traded at $69.62, with a volume of 184,867 shares traded.

CE has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Alembic Global Advisors cut shares of Celanese Corp. from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $60.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Celanese Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 10th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Celanese Corp. in a research note on Thursday, March 24th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upped their price target on shares of Celanese Corp. from $65.00 to $67.00 in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Celanese Corp. in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.16.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $68.51 and its 200-day moving average price is $65.97. The stock has a market cap of $10.28 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.29.

Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) last announced its earnings results on Monday, April 18th. The company reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.49 by $0.34. The firm had revenue of $1.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.72 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Celanese Corp. will post $6.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Celanese Corp. news, CEO Mark C. Rohr sold 17,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.50, for a total value of $1,195,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 418,464 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,083,248. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Farah M. Walters sold 14,650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.61, for a total transaction of $1,005,136.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 49,686 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,408,956.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently bought and sold shares of CE. Quantitative Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Celanese Corp. by 11.2% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC now owns 15,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,070,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC raised its position in shares of Celanese Corp. by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC now owns 16,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,122,000 after buying an additional 695 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Celanese Corp. by 182.4% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 17,414 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,172,000 after buying an additional 11,247 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Celanese Corp. by 88.8% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 18,492 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,245,000 after buying an additional 8,700 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in shares of Celanese Corp. by 111.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 18,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,248,000 after buying an additional 9,749 shares during the period.

Celanese Corporation (Celanese) is a technology and specialty materials company. The Company operates through four segments: Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties and Acetyl Intermediates. Its business involves processing chemical raw materials, such as methanol, carbon monoxide, ethylene and natural products, including wood pulp, into chemicals, thermoplastic polymers and other chemical-based products.

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