Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) Downgraded to “Sell” at Citigroup

Citigroup cut shares of Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. Citigroup currently has $58.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock, down from their previous price target of $62.00.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ALB. Buckingham Research dropped their target price on shares of Albemarle from $80.00 to $75.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. Loop Capital dropped their target price on shares of Albemarle to $98.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 13th. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on shares of Albemarle from $80.00 to $70.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 28th. Berenberg Bank set a $75.00 price target on shares of Albemarle and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, August 12th. Finally, Vertical Group decreased their price target on shares of Albemarle from $58.50 to $39.50 in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $83.70.

ALB stock traded up $0.60 on Wednesday, hitting $66.14. The company had a trading volume of 923,818 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,140,128. Albemarle has a 12-month low of $58.63 and a 12-month high of $102.79. The company has a current ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $66.53 and its 200 day simple moving average is $68.28. The stock has a market cap of $6.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.07, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.63.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.04. Albemarle had a net margin of 16.27% and a return on equity of 15.94%. The company had revenue of $879.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $883.67 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.31 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.1% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Albemarle will post 6.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th will be given a dividend of $0.368 per share. This represents a $1.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.23%. This is an increase from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 12th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.82%.

In other news, insider Eric Norris acquired 3,090 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 20th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $64.66 per share, for a total transaction of $199,799.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 164 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,604.24. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Luther C. Iv Kissam sold 36,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $2,520,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 334,046 shares in the company, valued at $23,383,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.02% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ALB. Primecap Management Co. CA grew its stake in Albemarle by 30.8% during the second quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 5,777,880 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $406,821,000 after acquiring an additional 1,362,000 shares in the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Albemarle during the second quarter valued at $51,037,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Albemarle by 9.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,304,153 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $584,695,000 after acquiring an additional 682,231 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. grew its stake in Albemarle by 51.8% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,231,777 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $86,729,000 after acquiring an additional 420,273 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AXA grew its stake in Albemarle by 3,990.3% during the second quarter. AXA now owns 357,616 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $25,180,000 after acquiring an additional 348,873 shares in the last quarter. 90.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Albemarle

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. Its Lithium segment offers lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and value-added lithium specialties, as well as reagents, such as butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride for applications 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, life science, pharmaceutical, and other markets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

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