Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) Short Interest Update

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,612,100 shares, a growth of 5.4% from the June 30th total of 15,762,300 shares. Approximately 15.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,460,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 11.4 days.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ALB. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Albemarle during the 2nd quarter worth about $51,037,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 9.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,304,153 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $584,695,000 after purchasing an additional 682,231 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 51.8% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,231,777 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $86,729,000 after purchasing an additional 420,273 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 27.9% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,720,253 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $141,028,000 after purchasing an additional 375,253 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AXA lifted its holdings in Albemarle by 3,990.3% during the 2nd quarter. AXA now owns 357,616 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $25,180,000 after purchasing an additional 348,873 shares in the last quarter. 89.43% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of ALB opened at $61.66 on Friday. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $71.02 and its 200 day simple moving average is $76.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.72 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 1.45. Albemarle has a 52-week low of $61.24 and a 52-week high of $108.74.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $885.05 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $893.50 million. Albemarle had a return on equity of 15.71% and a net margin of 16.01%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.36 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Albemarle will post 6.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Friday, September 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.3675 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $1.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.38%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.82%.

ALB has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price target on Albemarle to $83.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Loop Capital dropped their price target on Albemarle to $108.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. Nomura upped their price target on Albemarle from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Jefferies Financial Group dropped their price target on Albemarle from $114.00 to $90.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, May 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, ValuEngine raised Albemarle from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $91.84.

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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