Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Albemarle (ALB) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. They currently have $110.00 target price on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Albemarle remains focused on strengthening its lithium business. It is well placed to leverage strong growth in the battery-grade lithium market. The company should also gain from the synergies of Rockwood Holdings acquisition. Further, Albemarle is divesting non-core assets to boost growth opportunities and focus on its key businesses. The company also remains committed to deliver incremental returns to shareholders.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on ALB. ValuEngine lowered shares of Albemarle from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Albemarle from a hold rating to a buy rating and boosted their price target for the company from $110.00 to $115.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Vertical Group initiated coverage on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set a sell rating and a $85.00 price target for the company. Vertical Research initiated coverage on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set a sell rating and a $85.00 price target for the company. Finally, Loop Capital set a $130.00 price target on shares of Albemarle and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $122.43.

ALB opened at $88.65 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $9.68 billion, a PE ratio of 17.17, a PEG ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a quick ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 1.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. Albemarle has a one year low of $86.75 and a one year high of $138.67.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $778.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $796.79 million. Albemarle had a net margin of 10.44% and a return on equity of 15.39%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Albemarle will post 5.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 14th will be given a $0.335 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.51%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 29.19%.

In related news, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 3,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.54, for a total value of $299,274.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,142 shares in the company, valued at $2,620,288.68. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its stake in Albemarle by 7.7% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 7,896,101 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $787,873,000 after purchasing an additional 565,127 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Albemarle by 55,259.5% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,285,376 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $427,596,000 after purchasing an additional 4,277,635 shares during the last quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. bought a new stake in Albemarle in the third quarter worth $142,933,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Albemarle by 3.2% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,101,873 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $109,952,000 after purchasing an additional 33,805 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Primecap Management Co. CA bought a new stake in Albemarle in the third quarter worth $107,900,000. Institutional investors own 92.73% of the company’s stock.

Albemarle Company Profile

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. Its Lithium and Advanced Materials segment offers lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and lithium specialties, as well as reagents, such as butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride for applications in lithium batteries for consumer electronics and automobiles, high performance greases, thermoplastic elastomers for car tires, rubber soles, plastic bottles, catalysts for chemical reactions, organic synthesis processes, life science, pharmaceutical, and other markets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

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