Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, October 17th. They currently have $157.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Albemarle has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year.  Albemarle remains focused on strengthening its lithium business. It is well placed to leverage strong expected growth in the battery-grade lithium market. The company should also gain from the synergies of Rockwood Holdings acquisition. Albemarle is also divesting non-core assets to boost growth opportunities and focus on its key businesses. Moreover, the company remains committed to deliver incremental returns to shareholders.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on ALB. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Albemarle Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Loop Capital assumed coverage on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. They set a buy rating and a $150.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird reissued an outperform rating and set a $135.00 price objective (up from $125.00) on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. KeyCorp reissued a buy rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a report on Sunday, September 3rd. Finally, Nomura lifted their price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation from $146.00 to $154.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $125.45.

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) traded up $1.84 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $141.88. The company had a trading volume of 466,812 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,195,093. The stock has a market cap of $15,470.60, a P/E ratio of 36.19, a P/E/G ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 1.72. Albemarle Corporation has a 52 week low of $76.32 and a 52 week high of $143.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 2.24 and a quick ratio of 1.67.

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $737.25 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $735.50 million. Albemarle Corporation had a return on equity of 11.59% and a net margin of 31.49%. Albemarle Corporation’s revenue was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. research analysts predict that Albemarle Corporation will post 4.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 11,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.95, for a total value of $1,333,425.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 36,620 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,246,089. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Matthew Juneau sold 5,397 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.77, for a total transaction of $624,810.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 360 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $41,677.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Albemarle Corporation by 2,805.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,310,717 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $877,947,000 after buying an additional 8,024,668 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 21.4% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 7,797,076 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,062,819,000 after acquiring an additional 1,375,546 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 907.7% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 817,035 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $86,230,000 after acquiring an additional 735,956 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership lifted its holdings in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 6,185.5% during the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 731,690 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $77,223,000 after acquiring an additional 720,049 shares during the period. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 69.2% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,661,821 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $175,389,000 after buying an additional 679,453 shares in the last quarter. 83.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Albemarle Corporation Company Profile

Albemarle Corporation is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals. The Company operates through three segments: Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Lithium and Advanced Materials segment consist of two product categories: Lithium and Performance Catalyst Solutions.

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