Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity


    Wellington Management Co. LLP recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Basic Materials company by 14.21% to 9.68 million shares with purchase of 1.2 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 8.18% valued currently at $835.41 million. In addition, Capital Research & Management Co. raised its holdings by 0.55 million to 7.64 million shares. And Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (In. has lifted its position by 15.65% or 0.47 million shares – to 3.5 million shares.

    With over 1.23 million Celanese Corporation (CE) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $91.79 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $112.57 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 5.40% and its price on 07/20/20 gained nearly 2.52%. Currently, there are 119.25M common shares owned by the public and among those 117.28M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 22 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for CE have a consensus price objective of $97.75. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $115.00 and a low of $81.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Celanese Corporation stock is 2.30 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 4.8% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -13.32% over that period. But an upside of 20.18% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $100.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 37 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 18 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 241,543 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 19 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 113,505 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Celanese Corporation are Dodge & Cox Funds – Stock Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and American Funds Insurance Series -. Dodge & Cox Funds – Stock Fund owns 6.23 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $537.86 million. The company bought an additional 0.6 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 5.27% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold -0.13 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 3.37 million shares valued at over $290.82 million and representing 2.85% of the shares outstanding. American Funds Insurance Series – sold -0.11 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 3.0 million shares at a value of $258.73 million. American Funds Insurance Series – now owns shares totaling to 2.54% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE) opened at $91.63, up $2.1 from a prior closing price of $89.53. However, the script later closed the day at $91.79, up 2.52%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 5.40% and 20.74% over the past three months. CE shares are trading -25.45% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -14.26% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $52.70 and touched a high of $128.88 over the same period. Currently, 1.23 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 929.41K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 5.64%, 4.99%, and -9.10% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE) shares accounts for 98.80% of the company’s 119.25M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 37.26%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 59.58% and 27.88% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $10.98B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.37. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 15.11, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $6.08. The company has a PEG of 3.28 and a Quick Ratio of 0.90 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.68. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.04% over the week and 3.17% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Celanese Corporation (CE) will achieve an EPS of $1.06 for the current quarter, $1.59 for the next quarter and $8.94 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.78 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.3. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $2.38 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -22.60%, and 32.15% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 4.60% over the next five years, compared to 11.20% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 22 brokerage firm advisors rate Celanese Corporation (CE) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.30. Specifically, 9 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 12 of the 22 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the CE, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. BofA/Merrill stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on May 29, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $90-$100. Wells Fargo coverage for the Celanese Corporation (CE) stock in a research note released on April 29, 2020 offered a Equal Weight rating with a price target of $90. JP Morgan was of a view on April 09, 2020 that the stock is Neutral, while Goldman gave the stock Buy rating on March 30, 2020, issuing a price target of $126- $95. Vertical Research on their part issued Buy rating on March 26, 2020.


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