Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday, May 28th.

According to Zacks, “Albemarle’s adjusted earnings and sales for the first quarter beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company raised its earnings outlook for 2018. Albemarle remains focused on strengthening its lithium business. It is well placed to leverage strong growth in the battery-grade lithium market. The company is also likely to 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. However, Albemarle is facing headwinds associated with higher expected tax rate in 2018 and challenges in bromine and catalysts units. Moreover, a significant rise in capital spending is expected to hurt its free cash flows this year.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Albemarle from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Wednesday, May 9th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price objective on Albemarle from $133.00 to $100.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Loop Capital set a $130.00 price objective on Albemarle and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Albemarle in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. They issued a buy rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on Albemarle in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. They issued a buy rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $124.16.

Shares of Albemarle stock traded down $0.52 on Monday, hitting $93.66. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,148,198 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,035,144. The company has a quick ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 2.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Albemarle has a 1 year low of $86.75 and a 1 year high of $144.99. The firm has a market cap of $10.56 billion, a PE ratio of 20.41, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.63.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.10. Albemarle had a return on equity of 13.80% and a net margin of 4.27%. The firm had revenue of $821.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $798.20 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.05 EPS. Albemarle’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Albemarle will post 5.25 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.335 per share. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.19%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Texas Yale Capital Corp. lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 12.9% in the first quarter. Texas Yale Capital Corp. now owns 4,950 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $459,000 after acquiring an additional 565 shares during the last quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 26.3% in the first quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 2,743 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $254,000 after acquiring an additional 571 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 81.6% in the first quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 1,358 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $126,000 after acquiring an additional 610 shares during the last quarter. Norinchukin Bank The lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 7.5% in the fourth quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 8,835 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,130,000 after acquiring an additional 613 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Belpointe Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 13.4% in the fourth quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 5,415 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $693,000 after acquiring an additional 640 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.30% of the company’s stock.

About Albemarle

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Albemarle (ALB)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Receive News & Ratings for Albemarle Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Albemarle and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.