Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) Shares Gap Down to $71.39

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB)’s stock price gapped down prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $73.30, but opened at $71.39. Albemarle shares last traded at $67.98, with a volume of 3,438,841 shares changing hands.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on ALB shares. Loop Capital dropped their price objective on shares of Albemarle to $98.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 13th. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price objective on shares of Albemarle to $83.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. Buckingham Research dropped their price objective on shares of Albemarle from $80.00 to $75.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on shares of Albemarle from $75.00 to $65.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Albemarle from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $68.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Friday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.65.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 1.45. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $66.80 and its 200 day moving average is $68.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.14 billion, a PE ratio of 12.41, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.63.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $879.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $883.67 million. Albemarle had a net margin of 16.01% and a return on equity of 15.71%. The company’s revenue was up 13.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS. Analysts expect that Albemarle Co. will post 6.09 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.368 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $1.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.17%. This is a boost from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.82%.

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In other Albemarle news, insider Eric Norris purchased 3,090 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 20th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $64.66 per share, for a total transaction of $199,799.40. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 164 shares in the company, valued at $10,604.24. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Luther C. Iv Kissam sold 36,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 13th. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,383,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.02% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ALB. Primecap Management Co. CA boosted its stake in Albemarle by 30.8% during the 2nd quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 5,777,880 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $406,821,000 after purchasing an additional 1,362,000 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle in the 2nd quarter worth $51,037,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,304,153 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $584,695,000 after acquiring an additional 682,231 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 51.8% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,231,777 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $86,729,000 after acquiring an additional 420,273 shares during the period. Finally, AXA lifted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 3,990.3% in the 2nd quarter. AXA now owns 357,616 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $25,180,000 after acquiring an additional 348,873 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.51% of the company’s stock.

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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