Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Celanese's adjusted earnings for second-quarter 2016 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while sales missed expectations. While Celanese should gain from productivity actions, capacity expansion and growth initiatives in the emerging regions, it is exposed to pricing pressure and volatility in raw material costs. Moreover, Celanese is still witnessing soft acetyl demand in China given the sluggish economic conditions. Acetyl intermediates margins are expected to remain under pressure in the near term. The company's balance sheet leverage is also relatively high, limiting its financial flexibility.”

Analyst Recommendations for Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE)

CE has been the subject of several other research reports. Citigroup Inc. lowered their price target on shares of Celanese Corp. from $82.00 to $81.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 15th. Nomura restated a hold rating on shares of Celanese Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Barclays PLC lowered their target price on shares of Celanese Corp. from $82.00 to $76.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating on shares of Celanese Corp. in a report on Friday, August 12th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated a sector perform rating and issued a $72.00 target price (down previously from $76.00) on shares of Celanese Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $73.83.

Shares of Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) opened at 62.08 on Wednesday. Celanese Corp. has a 52-week low of $55.07 and a 52-week high of $74.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.96 and a beta of 1.85. The company has a 50-day moving average of $64.39 and a 200-day moving average of $67.31.

Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.03. Celanese Corp. had a net margin of 6.20% and a return on equity of 30.07%. The company earned $1.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.58 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Celanese Corp. will post $6.54 EPS for the current year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CE. Societe Generale purchased a new stake in Celanese Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $111,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its stake in Celanese Corp. by 22.5% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,964 shares of the company’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 361 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Celanese Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $133,000. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Celanese Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $152,000. Finally, Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in Celanese Corp. by 123.0% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 2,339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $153,000 after buying an additional 1,290 shares in the last quarter. 96.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Celanese Corp.

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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