Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) Shares Down 3.3%

Shares of Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALBGet Rating) were down 3.3% on Wednesday . The company traded as low as $215.54 and last traded at $216.04. Approximately 21,398 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 98% from the average daily volume of 1,230,126 shares. The stock had previously closed at $223.33.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on ALB shares. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price target on shares of Albemarle from $300.00 to $280.00 in a research report on Friday, February 18th. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Albemarle from $243.00 to $293.00 in a research report on Friday, May 6th. Robert W. Baird reduced their target price on shares of Albemarle from $245.00 to $228.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 22nd. UBS Group cut shares of Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $300.00 to $260.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 2nd. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Albemarle from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $281.21.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $225.36 and its 200 day moving average price is $221.48. The firm has a market cap of $23.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 84.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALBGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.73 by $0.65. The firm had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.03 billion. Albemarle had a net margin of 7.76% and a return on equity of 10.35%. Albemarle’s revenue was up 36.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Albemarle Co. will post 13.4 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 1st. Investors of record on Friday, June 10th will be given a $0.395 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 9th. This represents a $1.58 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.78%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.39%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 181.3% in the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,489,347 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $329,369,000 after acquiring an additional 959,810 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 8.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,924,312 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,194,761,000 after acquiring an additional 803,134 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Albemarle in the 4th quarter valued at about $185,328,000. FIFTHDELTA Ltd acquired a new stake in Albemarle in the 1st quarter valued at about $115,020,000. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 938.1% in the 4th quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 402,597 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $94,115,000 after acquiring an additional 363,816 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.03% of the company’s stock.

About Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. It operates through three segments: Lithium, Bromine, and Catalysts. The Lithium segment offers lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and lithium specialties; and reagents, such as butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride for use in lithium batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles, high performance greases, thermoplastic elastomers for car tires, rubber soles, plastic bottles, catalysts for chemical reactions, organic synthesis processes in the areas of steroid chemistry and vitamins, life sciences, pharmaceutical industry, and other markets.

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