Celanese Corporation (CE): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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 Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Celanese Corporation fell $2.03 (-4.8%) to $40 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.7 million shares of Celanese Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $39.79-$42.12 after having opened the day at $41.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.03. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 29.6%, Geokinetics ( GOK), down 12.7%, Vista Gold Corporation ( VGZ), down 10.9%, and Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Limite ( LPH), down 10.4%.
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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 $6.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.4, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 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, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 13.3%, USEC ( USU), up 13.1%, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 10.3%, and Union Drilling ( UDRL), up 10.1%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Marathon Oil ( MRO) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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

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