Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating reissued by equities research analysts at Robert W. Baird in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a $125.00 target price on the stock. Robert W. Baird’s price objective points to a potential upside of 17.85% from the stock’s previous close.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Citigroup Inc cut Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $104.77 to $112.00 in a research note on Monday, March 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price target (up from $105.00) on shares of Albemarle in a research note on Wednesday, March 1st. Aegis began coverage on Albemarle in a research note on Friday, February 17th. They set a “buy” rating and a $108.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Instinet upped their price target on Albemarle from $102.00 to $118.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Albemarle has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $109.73.

Analyst Recommendations for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Shares of Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) opened at 106.07 on Friday. Albemarle has a 52-week low of $60.34 and a 52-week high of $106.53. The firm has a market cap of $11.94 billion, a PE ratio of 18.66 and a beta of 1.41. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $97.41 and a 200-day moving average price of $88.12.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 27th. The company reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.05. Albemarle had a return on equity of 14.38% and a net margin of 6.92%. The company had revenue of $696.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $642.68 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.03 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Albemarle will post $4.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 13th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. This is a positive change from Albemarle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio is currently 63.54%.

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In related news, Chairman Luther C. Iv Kissam sold 2,542 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.46, for a total value of $229,949.32. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 190,628 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,244,208.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Scott Tozier sold 1,057 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.62, for a total value of $95,785.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 29,722 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,693,407.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 3,991 shares of company stock worth $361,246 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.71% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ALB. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in Albemarle by 218.8% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 4,147,707 shares of the company’s stock valued at $354,587,000 after buying an additional 2,846,734 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Albemarle during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $77,376,000. Columbus Circle Investors raised its position in Albemarle by 14,545.6% in the third quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 839,484 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,767,000 after buying an additional 833,752 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in Albemarle by 15,853.4% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 304,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,050,000 after buying an additional 302,800 shares during the period. Finally, Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its position in Albemarle by 71.1% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 569,885 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,055,000 after buying an additional 236,767 shares during the period. 86.50% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Albemarle

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, crop protection, household appliances, heating, ventilation, aluminum finishing, food safety and custom chemistry services.

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