Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $139.47 and last traded at $139.65, with a volume of 371,285 shares. The stock had previously closed at $138.22.

Several research analysts have issued reports on ALB shares. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $136.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Aegis restated a “buy” rating on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Albemarle Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Needham & Company LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $120.00 price target on shares of Albemarle Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Albemarle Corporation currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $115.11.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $123.74 and a 200-day moving average of $113.70. The stock has a market cap of $15.37 billion, a PE ratio of 17.79 and a beta of 1.67.

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.02. Albemarle Corporation had a net margin of 31.49% and a return on equity of 11.59%. The company had revenue of $737.25 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $735.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 10.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Albemarle Corporation will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Albemarle Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is 16.41%.

In related news, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 11,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.95, for a total value of $1,333,425.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 36,620 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,246,089. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Matthew Juneau sold 5,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.77, for a total transaction of $624,810.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 360 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $41,677.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 91,897 shares of company stock valued at $10,215,486 in the last three months. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ALB. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its position in Albemarle Corporation by 9.5% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 283,138 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $29,911,000 after purchasing an additional 24,621 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC grew its position in Albemarle Corporation by 7.4% in the first quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 13,942 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,473,000 after purchasing an additional 964 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. grew its position in Albemarle Corporation by 3.5% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 1,944 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $205,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its position in Albemarle Corporation by 4.7% in the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 7,437 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $793,000 after purchasing an additional 333 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Albemarle Corporation by 2.2% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 29,712 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,139,000 after purchasing an additional 635 shares in the last quarter. 83.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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