Shares of Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) have received an average rating of “Hold” from the seventeen research firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $96.26.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on ALB shares. KeyCorp lowered shares of Steris from an “overweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a report on Tuesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TheStreet lowered shares of Tribune Publishing from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Monday, May 20th. Buckingham Research decreased their price target on shares of Albemarle from $100.00 to $88.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 29th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Zumiez from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, Loop Capital decreased their price target on shares of Albemarle to $108.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, May 16th.

Shares of Albemarle stock traded up $2.05 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $72.63. The company had a trading volume of 97,103 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,116,904. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. The firm has a market cap of $7.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 1.63. The company’s fifty day moving average is $68.88. Albemarle has a 1-year low of $63.10 and a 1-year high of $108.74.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.02. Albemarle had a net margin of 20.54% and a return on equity of 15.53%. The firm had revenue of $832.06 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $827.94 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.30 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Albemarle will post 6.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 1st. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th were given a $0.3675 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $1.47 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.02%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.82%.

In related news, SVP Deeanne J. Marlow acquired 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 13th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $70.85 per share, with a total value of $70,850.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,850. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.02% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Ridgewood Investments LLC bought a new stake in Albemarle during the 2nd quarter worth about $329,000. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Albemarle during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,878,000. Bridge Creek Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Albemarle during the 2nd quarter worth about $204,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in shares of Albemarle by 15.2% in the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 20,280 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,676 shares during the period. Finally, Exane Derivatives bought a new stake in shares of Albemarle in the 2nd quarter valued at about $32,000. 89.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Albemarle

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide. Its Lithium segment offers lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and value-added lithium specialties, as well as reagents, such as butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride for applications 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, life science, pharmaceutical, and other markets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

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