Technology and specialty materials company Celanese Corp. (CE: Quote) on Monday reported a 3 percent increase in profit for the second quarter despite lower revenues. Adjusted earnings per share declined, but beat analysts' estimates, while revenues missed their expectations.
Looking ahead, Celanese projects second-half adjusted earnings per share will reflect typical seasonal trends and be slightly below the first half of 2012, excluding the dividend from the company's acetate China ventures.
The company said it delivered higher overall volumes in the second quarter, but results were impacted by lower pricing, primarily in its Acetyl Intermediates business, and unfavorable currency impacts.
Margins expanded in the company's Industrial Specialties and Consumer Specialties businesses but did not completely offset lower margins in its Acetyl Intermediates business due to temporarily elevated industry margins in the prior year, the current weakened economic environment in Europe, and slower growth in Asia.
Acetyl Intermediates segment net sales for the quarter declined 10 percent to $821 million in the quarter, primarily due to lower acetyl pricing. Advanced Engineered Materials net sales declined 6 percent to $323 million, as higher pricing was offset by lower volumes due to softer demand from industrial goods and electronics as well as currency.
Consumer Specialties net sales rose 12 percent to $327 million, mainly driven by higher pricing and volumes. Industrial Specialties' net sales edged down to $327 million as higher volumes were offset by currency translation, primarily the Euro.
Dallas, Texas-based Celanese's net earnings for the second quarter were $210 million or $1.31 per share, up from $203 million or $1.28 per share in the year-ago period.
However, adjusted earnings per share declined to $1.47 from $1.66 in the prior-year period. On average, fourteen analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.40 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net sales for the second quarter declined 4 percent to $1.68 billion from $1.75 billion in the year-ago period, and missed analysts' consensus estimate of $1.73 billion.
Looking ahead, Mark Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer of Celanese said, "We anticipate the ongoing challenging economic environment in Europe and the current growth rates in Asia will continue through the remainder of 2012."
Rohr added, "As a result, we expect second-half adjusted earnings per share will reflect typical seasonal trends and be slightly below the first half of 2012, excluding the dividend from the company's acetate China ventures."
CE closed Monday's trading at $35.52, down $0.42 or 1.17 percent on a volume of 2.31 million shares. In after-hours, the stock further declined $0.77 or 2.17 percent to $34.75.
| || |
| To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Celanese Corp. and others in your portfolio|
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com