21 November 2008 17:48 [Source: ICIS news]
Celanese shares plunged to an all-time low of $5.71 on Friday from Thursday's close of $8.46, before bouncing back to $6.94 in New York trading.
Bank of America analyst Kevin McCarthy said he was expecting Celanese only to break even in the fourth quarter this year and slashed his estimate of year-end earnings per share (EPS) to $3.05 from his previous estimate of $3.48.
"It is hard to overstate chemical industry weakness," McCarthy said in a note to investors, adding that recent comments and announcements by Dow and BASF show that Celanese "is not suffering alone."
McCarthy remained upbeat about Celanese's business in the coming year, though, calling the stock a Buy and setting a 12-month target price of $17.
Citi Investment Research analyst PJ Juvekar was less positive, downgrading Celanese to Hold and cutting his price target to $9 from $28.
Citigroup slashed target prices and profit estimates for Celanese and four other major ?xml:namespace>
On Thursday Celanese pulled its previous full-year earnings guidance of $3.40-$3.55 per share issued only a month ago, saying economic conditions have had more impact than it expected.
($1 = €0.80)
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