Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) shares gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $83.37, but opened at $83.85. Albemarle Corp. shares last traded at $84.33, with a volume of 876,375 shares trading hands.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ALB shares. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corp. in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $62.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $75.00 to $90.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $76.00 to $89.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $72.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Albemarle Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $80.00.

The firm has a market cap of $9.46 billion and a P/E ratio of 61.98. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $83.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $71.90.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.08. The business earned $669.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $860.40 million. Albemarle Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.73 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Albemarle Corp. will post $3.47 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.305 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.45%.

In related news, Director John Sherman, Jr. sold 4,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.09, for a total value of $352,987.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $123,135. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link.

A number of institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Schroder Investment Management Group acquired a new position in shares of Albemarle Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at $30,479,000. I.G. Investment Management LTD. increased its position in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 92.4% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 96,529 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,407,000 after buying an additional 46,351 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,285,795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,018,000 after buying an additional 71,639 shares during the period. Employees Retirement System of Texas increased its position in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 17.3% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 88,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,929,000 after buying an additional 13,000 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 72.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 630,823 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,332,000 after buying an additional 264,028 shares during the period.

Albemarle Corporation is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals across a range of end markets, including the petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage, construction, automotive, steel and aerospace, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, heating, ventilation, and aluminum finishing.

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