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Celanese Corporation (CE) is a global technology leader in the production of specialty materials and chemical products used in most major industries and consumer applications.
The company generated the majority of its revenue from three segments during the fourth quarter of 2020, including Engineered Materials (36%), Acetate Tow (8%) and Acetyl Chain (57%). The Acetyl Chain segment experienced the strongest gains during the fourth quarter due to a 10% pricing increase and a 6% volume increase from the prior quarter.
Celanese reported revenue that rose 11.2% to $1.59 billion, beating consensus estimates by $180 million, along with non-GAAP earnings of $2.09 per share, beating consensus estimates by $0.37 per share. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company executed on over $200 million in productivity initiatives and generated $950 million in free cash flow during the quarter.
Last year, the company returned $943 million in cash to shareholders in the form of $650 million in shares repurchases and $293 million in dividends. The share repurchases amounted to five percent of its total shares outstanding across 2020.
The company has raised its quarterly dividend by 9.7% to $0.68 per share, which represents a 2.23% forward yield. The dividend is payable on February 23, 2021, to shareholders on record as of February 9, 2021.
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