Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) shares gapped down before the market opened on Friday after Jefferies Group lowered their price target on the stock to $150.00. The stock had previously closed at $138.70, but opened at $126.95. Jefferies Group currently has a buy rating on the stock. Albemarle shares last traded at $117.91, with a volume of 8622300 shares changing hands.

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $149.00 target price on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Albemarle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. KeyCorp increased their target price on Albemarle from $125.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Loop Capital started coverage on Albemarle in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $150.00 target price for the company. Finally, Instinet reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $154.00 target price (up from $146.00) on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Albemarle currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $127.78.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Scotia Capital Inc. lifted its position in Albemarle by 0.5% in the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 2,022 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in Albemarle by 2.1% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 968 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares during the period. L & S Advisors Inc increased its stake in Albemarle by 2.2% in the second quarter. L & S Advisors Inc now owns 4,200 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $443,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its stake in Albemarle by 2.2% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 4,240 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $447,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares during the period. Finally, Zacks Investment Management increased its stake in Albemarle by 2.4% in the second quarter. Zacks Investment Management now owns 4,767 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $503,000 after purchasing an additional 111 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.07% of the company’s stock.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.56, a current ratio of 2.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35. The company has a market capitalization of $12,820.00, a P/E ratio of 41.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 1.69.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Albemarle had a return on equity of 11.61% and a net margin of 30.07%. The business had revenue of $755.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $732.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Albemarle Co. will post 4.46 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.10%. Albemarle’s payout ratio is 45.71%.

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About Albemarle

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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