Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) shares rose 6.2% on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $105.84 and last traded at $105.42. Approximately 2,981,934 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 68% from the average daily volume of 1,775,395 shares. The stock had previously closed at $99.22.
ALB has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Vertical Group initiated coverage on shares of Albemarle in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set a “sell” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine raised shares of Albemarle from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. Vertical Research initiated coverage on shares of Albemarle in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set a “sell” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Loop Capital set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Albemarle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $124.55.
The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a current ratio of 2.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.54 billion, a PE ratio of 23.19, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.53.
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.08. Albemarle had a net margin of 10.17% and a return on equity of 14.51%. The company had revenue of $853.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $799.49 million. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Albemarle Co. will post 5.38 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 14th will be given a $0.335 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $1.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.26%. Albemarle’s payout ratio is currently 29.19%.
In related news, EVP Karen G. Narwold sold 3,100 shares of Albemarle stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.11, for a total value of $301,041.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,936,800.62. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.80% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ALB. Credit Agricole S A bought a new stake in Albemarle in the 2nd quarter valued at about $123,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Albemarle by 145.9% in the 2nd quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,692 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $160,000 after purchasing an additional 1,004 shares during the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC lifted its position in Albemarle by 17,210.0% in the 3rd quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 1,731 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $171,000 after purchasing an additional 1,721 shares during the last quarter. Palladium Partners LLC bought a new stake in Albemarle in the 3rd quarter valued at about $205,000. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in Albemarle in the 2nd quarter valued at about $212,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.89% of the company’s stock.