Albemarle (ALB) Hits New 12-Month Low After Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) reached a new 52-week low on Friday after Loop Capital lowered their price target on the stock to $108.00. Loop Capital currently has a buy rating on the stock. Albemarle traded as low as $67.71 and last traded at $67.77, with a volume of 176374 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $69.41.

ALB has been the subject of a number of other reports. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. KeyCorp decreased their price objective on Albemarle from $110.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Citigroup cut Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $90.00 to $81.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. ValuEngine cut Albemarle from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on Albemarle to $100.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $99.54.

In other news, CFO Scott Tozier sold 2,961 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $269,451.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 49,672 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,520,152. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 1,243 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $113,113.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 34,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,162,887. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.02% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ALB. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $74,312,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Albemarle by 27.9% in the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,720,253 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $141,028,000 after purchasing an additional 375,253 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Albemarle in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $27,807,000. State of Tennessee Treasury Department increased its stake in Albemarle by 1,358.2% in the 4th quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 353,023 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $27,207,000 after purchasing an additional 328,813 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Robecosam AG increased its stake in Albemarle by 63.3% in the 4th quarter. Robecosam AG now owns 766,000 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $58,783,000 after purchasing an additional 297,000 shares in the last quarter. 94.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a market cap of $7.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.36, a P/E/G ratio of 0.73 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 0.96.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. Albemarle had a return on equity of 15.53% and a net margin of 20.54%. The firm had revenue of $832.06 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $827.94 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.30 EPS. Albemarle’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Albemarle Co. will post 6.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a dividend of $0.3675 per share. This represents a $1.47 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th. Albemarle’s payout ratio is 26.82%.

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About Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

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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