Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday morning. The brokerage currently has $110.00 price objective on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

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.”

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on ALB. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Albemarle from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and set a $85.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Jefferies Group reduced their price target on Albemarle to $150.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Argus started coverage on Albemarle in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $148.00 price target on the stock. Finally, UBS raised shares of Albemarle from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $113.00 to $150.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $124.34.

Shares of Albemarle opened at $104.80 on Monday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm has a market cap of $11.34 billion, a PE ratio of 22.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 1.72 and a current ratio of 2.48. Albemarle has a 12-month low of $101.15 and a 12-month high of $102.46.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $821.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $798.20 million. Albemarle had a return on equity of 13.80% and a net margin of 4.27%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.05 earnings per share. analysts predict that Albemarle will post 5.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a $0.335 dividend. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. Albemarle’s payout ratio is 29.19%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $103,000. Stephens Inc. AR purchased a new stake in Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $115,000. Banco de Sabadell S.A purchased a new stake in Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $133,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Albemarle in the fourth quarter valued at $155,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp boosted 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 purchasing an additional 610 shares during the last quarter. 84.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Albemarle Company Profile

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

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