Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The company traded as high as $121.96 and last traded at $121.98, with a volume of 1,497,624 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $119.60.

The specialty chemicals company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $737.25 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $735.50 million. Albemarle Corporation had a net margin of 31.49% and a return on equity of 11.73%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.11%. Albemarle Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.41%.

Several research firms have recently commented on ALB. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation from $100.00 to $72.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Needham & Company LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. KeyCorp upped their price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 12th. Finally, Aegis restated a “buy” rating on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $105.50.

In related news, CFO Scott Tozier sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.13, for a total value of $2,753,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 57,506 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,333,135.78. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Luther C. Iv Kissam sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.08, for a total transaction of $5,504,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 252,917 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,841,103.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 105,000 shares of company stock valued at $11,499,850 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 982 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 3 shares during the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 16.1% in the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 1,008 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,454 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 303.3% in the second quarter. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,944 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 1,462 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in shares of Albemarle Corporation by 18.7% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,614 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $171,000 after buying an additional 254 shares during the last quarter. 85.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm has a market capitalization of $12.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.05 and a beta of 1.59. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $112.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $106.00.

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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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