Celanese Co. (NYSE:CE) shares shot up 7.4% during mid-day trading on Tuesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as high as $113.84 and last traded at $112.17. 1,956,267 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 73% from the average session volume of 1,133,301 shares. The stock had previously closed at $104.47.

The basic materials company reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.49 by $0.13. Celanese had a net margin of 16.87% and a return on equity of 40.37%. The company had revenue of $1.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.76 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.79 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.21%. This is a boost from Celanese’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 26th. Celanese’s dividend payout ratio is 19.64%.

A number of research firms have issued reports on CE. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Celanese from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Alembic Global Advisors set a $95.00 price target on shares of Celanese and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Celanese from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Celanese from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $107.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reduced their target price on shares of Celanese from $145.00 to $125.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $113.78.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acima Private Wealth LLC acquired a new position in Celanese in the fourth quarter worth about $31,000. Baystate Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Celanese by 200.9% in the fourth quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 331 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 221 shares in the last quarter. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new position in Celanese in the fourth quarter worth about $36,000. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Celanese in the fourth quarter worth about $37,000. Finally, Investors Research Corp acquired a new position in Celanese in the first quarter worth about $41,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.45% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.38 billion, a PE ratio of 10.20, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 1.32.

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About Celanese (NYSE:CE)

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, manufactures and sells high performance engineered polymers in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Engineered Materials, Acetate Tow, and Acetyl Chain segments. The Engineered Materials segment develops, produces, and supplies specialty polymers for automotive and medical applications, as well as for use in industrial products and consumer electronics.

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