Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Put Options on Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALBGet Rating) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Investors purchased 8,091 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 70% compared to the average daily volume of 4,769 put options.

Albemarle Price Performance

NYSE ALB opened at $283.09 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.73 and a quick ratio of 1.08. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $278.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $254.36. Albemarle has a 1 year low of $169.93 and a 1 year high of $334.55. The company has a market cap of $33.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.46, a PEG ratio of 0.82 and a beta of 1.41.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALBGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $7.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $6.99 by $0.51. The firm had revenue of $2.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.21 billion. Albemarle had a return on equity of 26.84% and a net margin of 27.77%. The firm’s revenue was up 151.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Albemarle will post 20.99 earnings per share for the current year.

Albemarle Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 16th will be given a dividend of $0.395 per share. This represents a $1.58 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 15th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.98%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of analysts have weighed in on ALB shares. StockNews.com started coverage on Albemarle in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Bank of America upped their price target on Albemarle from $262.00 to $332.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Albemarle from $196.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 3rd. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $350.00 price target on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Oppenheimer reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $440.00 price target on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $297.89.

Insider Activity at Albemarle

In related news, insider Eric Norris sold 2,390 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $307.80, for a total value of $735,642.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 15,564 shares in the company, valued at $4,790,599.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other Albemarle news, insider Eric Norris sold 2,390 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $307.80, for a total transaction of $735,642.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 15,564 shares in the company, valued at $4,790,599.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 2,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $285.66, for a total value of $642,735.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,444 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,269,093.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 15,962 shares of company stock worth $4,911,107. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Albemarle

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ALB. SJS Investment Consulting Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Albemarle during the 3rd quarter worth about $28,000. Covestor Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 51.2% during the 1st quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 130 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $29,000 after acquiring an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Albemarle during the 1st quarter worth about $35,000. Riverview Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 92.3% during the 2nd quarter. Riverview Trust Co now owns 175 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $37,000 after acquiring an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new stake in shares of Albemarle during the 3rd quarter worth about $37,000. 81.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Albemarle

(Get Rating)

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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