Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) Trading Up 4.8%

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) shot up 4.8% during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $159.31 and last traded at $159.31. 4,270 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 100% from the average session volume of 1,748,557 shares. The stock had previously closed at $152.03.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ALB. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised shares of Albemarle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $175.00 to $190.00 in a report on Monday, February 15th. Evercore ISI raised shares of Albemarle from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the company from $160.00 to $200.00 in a report on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Albemarle from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, March 1st. Vertical Research raised shares of Albemarle from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Albemarle from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $169.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, March 12th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Albemarle currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $131.26.

The company has a market cap of $17.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.49, a PEG ratio of 3.79 and a beta of 1.59. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $150.21 and its 200 day simple moving average is $141.06. The company has a current ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 16th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.07. Albemarle had a net margin of 11.77% and a return on equity of 11.96%. The company had revenue of $879.15 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $876.15 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.73 EPS. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Albemarle Co. will post 3.94 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 12th were paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This is a boost from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 11th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.05%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.83%.

In other Albemarle news, Director Luther C. Iv Kissam sold 15,478 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.26, for a total transaction of $2,356,680.28. Also, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 1,478 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.89, for a total transaction of $227,449.42. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 43,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,724,223.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 18,477 shares of company stock valued at $2,818,196. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. IMA Wealth Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. American Research & Management Co. purchased a new position in shares of Albemarle in the first quarter valued at $33,000. Kinloch Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $48,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Albemarle by 79.4% in the first quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 348 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 154 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacifica Partners Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $53,000. 86.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. It operates through three segments: Lithium, Bromine Specialties, 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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