Celanese (NYSE:CE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Celanese has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. Celanese’s strategic measures including operational cost savings through productivity actions should lend support to its earnings in 2017. The company should also gain from growth initiatives that include acquisitions and expansion in emerging regions. SO.F.TER. and Nilit acquisitions are expected to drive earnings in the Advanced Engineered Materials unit in 2017. Moreover, Celanese remains focused on returning value to shareholders. However, Celanese is exposed to pricing pressure and weak acetyl demand. The company's balance sheet leverage is also relatively high.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on CE. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Celanese from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Tudor Pickering initiated coverage on shares of Celanese in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $109.00 price target on shares of Celanese in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price target on shares of Celanese in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Instinet reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $100.00 price target (up previously from $97.00) on shares of Celanese in a research report on Friday, October 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $107.74.

Shares of Celanese (CE) traded down $2.58 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $105.73. 953,300 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 864,301. The company has a market capitalization of $14,690.74, a P/E ratio of 15.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a current ratio of 1.69, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. Celanese has a 52-week low of $78.38 and a 52-week high of $109.11.

Celanese (NYSE:CE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The basic materials company reported $1.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.49 billion. Celanese had a net margin of 13.66% and a return on equity of 31.98%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 18.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.67 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Celanese will post 7.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Celanese news, Director John K. Wulff sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.88, for a total value of $264,700.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 30,175 shares in the company, valued at $3,194,929. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Christopher W. Jensen sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.68, for a total transaction of $104,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 60,086 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,289,802.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Uniplan Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new position in shares of Celanese in the second quarter worth approximately $15,843,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of Celanese in the second quarter worth approximately $289,000. Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Celanese by 1.2% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 513,530 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $48,755,000 after buying an additional 6,100 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Celanese by 1.2% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 434,546 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $45,310,000 after buying an additional 5,242 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Celanese by 10.2% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 157,840 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $16,458,000 after buying an additional 14,650 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.16% of the company’s stock.

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Celanese Company Profile

Celanese Corporation (Celanese) is a technology and specialty materials company. The Company’s segments include Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, Acetyl Intermediates and Other Activities. The Advanced Engineered Materials segment includes the Company’s engineered materials business and certain affiliates.

Analyst Recommendations for Celanese (NYSE:CE)

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