National Pension Service trimmed its stake in shares of Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB – Get Rating) by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 143,435 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 9,402 shares during the period. National Pension Service’s holdings in Albemarle were worth $38,073,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Albemarle by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,933,369 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,684,541,000 after purchasing an additional 158,005 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Albemarle by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,419,869 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $2,490,991,000 after purchasing an additional 128,223 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Albemarle by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,364,655 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,188,408,000 after acquiring an additional 16,968 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Albemarle by 14.3% during the 1st quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,247,801 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $275,952,000 after acquiring an additional 155,848 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Albemarle by 33.6% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 865,408 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $191,386,000 after acquiring an additional 217,538 shares in the last quarter. 82.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
ALB has been the subject of several analyst reports. CICC Research initiated coverage on Albemarle in a research report on Tuesday, February 21st. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Scotiabank reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Albemarle from $145.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, November 28th. Oppenheimer upped their price objective on Albemarle from $497.00 to $498.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on Albemarle from $340.00 to $362.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $303.00.
Albemarle Stock Up 0.3 %
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB – Get Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 16th. The specialty chemicals company reported $8.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $8.46 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $2.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.60 billion. Albemarle had a return on equity of 37.63% and a net margin of 36.75%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 193.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Albemarle Co. will post 30.2 EPS for the current year.
Albemarle Increases Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.75%. This is an increase from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 16th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is 6.92%.
Insider Transactions at Albemarle
In other news, CFO Scott Tozier sold 1,719 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $220.00, for a total transaction of $378,180.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 63,384 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,944,480. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In the last three months, insiders sold 7,836 shares of company stock valued at $1,917,699. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Albemarle Corp. engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop production, food-safety, and custom chemistry services. It operates through the following business segments: Lithium, Bromine, Catalysts, and All Other.
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