Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) was the target of a large decline in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,190,000 shares, a decline of 20.9% from the March 15th total of 2,770,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,770,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.2 days.
In related news, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 1,478 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.89, for a total transaction of $227,449.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,695 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,724,223.55. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Scott Tozier sold 1,521 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.89, for a total transaction of $234,066.69. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 55,905 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,603,220.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 18,477 shares of company stock valued at $2,818,196. Company insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Albemarle by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,744 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $552,000 after acquiring an additional 68 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 8,566 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,264,000 after buying an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. Cypress Capital Group raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Cypress Capital Group now owns 3,150 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $465,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Silver Lake Advisory LLC raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Silver Lake Advisory LLC now owns 21,731 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,206,000 after buying an additional 101 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Advisor Solutions LLC raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Dynamic Advisor Solutions LLC now owns 9,685 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,429,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.38% of the company’s stock.
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 16th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $879.15 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $876.15 million. Albemarle had a net margin of 11.77% and a return on equity of 11.96%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.73 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Albemarle will post 3.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 12th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 11th. This is a boost from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.99%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.83%.
Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. Smith Barney Citigroup lowered shares of Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $132.00 to $175.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 6th. Argus boosted their price objective on shares of Albemarle from $140.00 to $177.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 1st. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on shares of Albemarle from $125.00 to $162.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 25th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Albemarle from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $160.00 to $200.00 in a research note on Monday. Finally, Loop Capital upgraded shares of Albemarle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $174.00 to $186.00 in a research note on Monday, March 8th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Albemarle has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $131.26.
Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. It operates through three segments: Lithium, Bromine Specialties, and Catalysts. The Lithium segment offers lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and lithium specialties; and reagents, such as butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride for use 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 in the areas of steroid chemistry and vitamins, life sciences, pharmaceutical industry, and other markets.
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