Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. They currently have $94.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Albemarle Corporation is a major producer of fine and performance chemicals including polymer intermediates, cleaning product intermediates and additives, agricultural chemical intermediates, pharmaceutical intermediates, catalysts, brominated flame retardants, bromine chemicals and potassium and chlorine chemicals. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Nomura set a $92.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $95.00 to $101.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $80.60.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) opened at 87.78 on Monday. Albemarle Corp. has a 12-month low of $45.78 and a 12-month high of $88.73. The stock has a market cap of $9.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 45.96 and a beta of 1.52. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $82.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $81.74.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.10. Albemarle Corp. had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 14.38%. The firm earned $654 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $645.81 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.90 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Albemarle Corp. will post $3.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.305 per share. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 13th. Albemarle Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.54%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ALB. New York State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in Albemarle Corp. by 21.8% in the second quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 167,823 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,310,000 after buying an additional 30,056 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle Corp. during the third quarter valued at about $8,023,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 7.6% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 326,505 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,895,000 after buying an additional 23,093 shares in the last quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Albemarle Corp. by 0.8% in the second quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC now owns 35,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,806,000 after buying an additional 287 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rothschild Investment Corp IL acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $397,000. 84.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Albemarle Corp.

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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