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Celanese shares climb on earnings beat, higher 2018 forecast

Celanese Corp. shares rallied after markets closed as the U.S. specialty materials producer reported third-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates and raised its full-year profit forecast.

Net earnings attributable to the company jumped to $401 million, or $2.96 per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, up from $226 million, or $1.65 per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted EPS came in at $2.96 in the third quarter, higher than the year-ago adjusted EPS of $1.93 and the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of $2.74.

Third-quarter net sales grew year over year to $1.77 billion from $1.57 billion, missing the S&P Global Market Intelligence revenue estimate of $1.81 billion for the quarter.

Adjusted EBIT came in at $494 million in the third quarter, up from $345 million a year ago. Operating EBITDA for the quarter also rose year over year to $571 million from $423 million.

For full-year 2018, Celanese now expects to earn between $10.90 per share and $11.10 per share on an adjusted basis, up from the company's previous guidance.

Full-year operating cash flow is expected to exceed $1.5 billion, Celanese said, and free cash flow is projected to be close to $1.2 billion.

Celanese's stock was up 3.94% as of 4:33 p.m. ET, trading at $101.00 per share.