Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $111.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.25% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Celanese has outperformed the Zacks categorized 'Chemicals-Diversified' industry over a year. Celanese’s strategic measures including cost savings through productivity actions should lend support to its earnings in 2017. The company should also gain from capacity expansion and growth initiatives that include acquisitions. Moreover, Celanese remains focused on returning value to its shareholders.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on CE. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Celanese Corporation from $105.00 to $98.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Citigroup Inc increased their price objective on shares of Celanese Corporation from $100.00 to $101.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $97.00 price objective (up from $90.00) on shares of Celanese Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. UBS Group AG reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective (up from $90.00) on shares of Celanese Corporation in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price objective (up from $100.00) on shares of Celanese Corporation in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $98.11.

Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) opened at 98.89 on Monday. Celanese Corporation has a 52-week low of $60.59 and a 52-week high of $99.97. The company’s 50-day moving average is $92.81 and its 200-day moving average is $88.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.23 and a beta of 1.28.

Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 17th. The basic materials company reported $1.81 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $1.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.44 billion. Celanese Corporation had a net margin of 15.14% and a return on equity of 30.92%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.83 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Celanese Corporation will post $7.28 earnings per share for the current year.

Celanese Corporation announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, July 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the basic materials company to repurchase up to 10.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dodge & Cox bought a new stake in Celanese Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,048,252,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Celanese Corporation by 5,604.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,632,901 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $685,818,000 after buying an additional 7,499,096 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners bought a new stake in Celanese Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $200,091,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Celanese Corporation by 335.6% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,247,203 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $201,910,000 after buying an additional 1,731,282 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Celanese Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $135,865,000. 98.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Celanese Corporation

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.

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