Celanese Corporation (CE): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Celanese Corporation ( CE) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Celanese Corporation fell 45 cents (-1.1%) to $40.32 on light volume. Throughout the day, 655,445 shares of Celanese Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $40.07-$40.74 after having opened the day at $40.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.77. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), down 3%, Kraton Performance Polymers ( KRA), down 2.8%, Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 2.3%, and American Vanguard Corporation ( AVD), down 2.3%.

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, engages in manufacture and sale of value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products. Celanese Corporation has a market cap of $6.43 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 9.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Celanese Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Celanese Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 10.4%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 5.2%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), up 4.6%, and Yongye International ( YONG), up 4.3%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Rockwood Holdings ( ROC) being today's featured chemicals industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the chemicals industry could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).
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