Albemarle (ALB) Shares Gap Down on Analyst Downgrade

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB)’s share price gapped down before the market opened on Friday after Jefferies Group lowered their price target on the stock to $150.00. The stock had previously closed at $138.70, but opened at $126.95. Jefferies Group currently has a buy rating on the stock. Albemarle shares last traded at $117.91, with a volume of 8622300 shares changing hands.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on ALB. Loop Capital initiated coverage on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $150.00 target price for the company. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday. UBS Group increased their target price on shares of Albemarle from $123.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $149.00 target price on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, KeyCorp increased their target price on shares of Albemarle from $125.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $127.78.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in Albemarle by 69.5% in the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 16,942 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,165,000 after purchasing an additional 6,944 shares in the last quarter. McCollum Christoferson Group LLC purchased a new stake in Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,844,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Albemarle by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 370,525 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $47,387,000 after purchasing an additional 4,547 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its stake in Albemarle by 70.9% in the fourth quarter. Creative Planning now owns 6,564 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $839,000 after purchasing an additional 2,723 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Albemarle by 64.7% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 55,646 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $7,116,000 after purchasing an additional 21,869 shares in the last quarter. 88.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a market capitalization of $12,910.00, a P/E ratio of 42.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 1.69. The company has a current ratio of 2.11, a quick ratio of 1.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $755.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $732.19 million. Albemarle had a net margin of 30.07% and a return on equity of 11.61%. Albemarle’s quarterly revenue was up 15.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Albemarle Co. will post 4.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.71%.

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About Albemarle

Albemarle Corporation is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals. The Company operates through three segments: Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Lithium and Advanced Materials segment consist of two product categories: Lithium and Performance Catalyst Solutions.

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