AP News

Chemical maker Celanese reports lower profit

DALLAS (AP) — Celanese Corp. said Monday that its third-quarter earnings fell 30 percent as revenue was hurt by lower pricing for some specialty chemical products.

Celanese products are used in paints, adhesives, auto parts, electronics and other goods. The company said the decline was driven mostly by lower prices for products in its acetyl and industrial-specialties businesses, which it blamed on weak economies in Europe and Asia. Sales and prices rose in its consumer-specialties business.

Profit still beat analysts' expectations but revenue was less than expected. Celanese predicted that fourth-quarter earnings would be "modestly higher" than a year earlier.

Net income totaled $117 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $167 million, or $1.05 per share, in last year's third quarter.

Excluding an income tax provision and other items, the company said it would have earned 93 cents per share, down from $1.27 per share last year on the same basis.

Analysts, who usually exclude one-time charges and gains, expected 90 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 11 percent to $1.61 billion from $1.81 billion a year earlier, below analysts' forecast of $1.70 billion.

The Dallas company said that it expects challenging economic conditions to persist into next year but still looks for fourth-quarter adjusted earnings higher than a year ago. In last year's fourth quarter, the Dallas company earned $56 million, or 35 cents per share.

Shares rose 18 cents to close at $37.44 before the results were released. The stock was unchanged in after-hours trading.

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