Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) rating downgraded to sell on StockNews.com

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Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) was downgraded by StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note released Friday to investors.

Several other research analysts have also recently released reports on the stock. HSBC downgraded Albemarle shares from a ‘hold’ rating to a ‘buy’ rating and raised its share price target from $250.00 to $280.00 in a Wednesday, January 26 report . BMO Capital Markets cut its price target on Albemarle shares from $300.00 to $280.00 in a report on Friday. TheStreet downgraded Albemarle’s shares from a “b” to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 3. Goldman Sachs Group moved Albemarle’s shares from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and raised its price target for the stock from $199.00 to $205.00 in a note of research of Wednesday, December 15. Finally, KeyCorp raised its price target on Albemarle from $153.00 to $163.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday. Four investment analysts have assigned the stock a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned the company’s stock a strong buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, Albemarle currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $241.95.

NYSE ALB shares traded at $6.26 at midday Friday, hitting $190.76. 3,047,469 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 1,209,324. Albemarle has a 12-month low of $133.82 and a 12-month high of $291.48. The company has a current ratio of 1.31, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt ratio of 0.34. The company has a market capitalization of $22.31 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 178.28, a PEG ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.52. The company’s fifty-day moving average price is $226.81 and its two-hundred-day moving average price is $236.30.

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Albemarle Inc (NYSE:ALB) last reported results on Tuesday, February 15. The specialty chemicals company reported earnings per share of $1.01 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.05. The company posted revenue of $894.20 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $889.88 million. Albemarle had a return on equity of 7.70% and a net margin of 3.72%. Albemarle’s quarterly revenue increased 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $1.17. Stock analysts expect Albemarle to post earnings per share of 6.24 for the current fiscal year.

In other Albemarle news, CEO J Kent Masters bought 5,241 shares of the company in a deal that took place on Friday February 18. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $190.80 per share, with a total value of $999,982.80. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available on the SEC’s website. Additionally, Executive Vice President Karen G. Narwold sold 1,337 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, Dec. 8. The shares were sold at an average price of $261.00, for a total transaction of $348,957.00. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,172 shares of the company valued at $1,269,127 in the past 90 days. Insiders own 0.63% of the shares of the company.

A number of hedge funds have recently changed their positions in ALB. Perigon Wealth Management LLC increased its position in Albemarle shares by 1.5% during the third quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,707 shares of the specialty chemicals company worth $593,000 after purchasing 41 additional shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers increased its holdings of Albemarle shares by 0.5% during the third quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 9,846 shares of the specialty chemicals company valued at $2,156,000 after buying 45 more shares last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. increased its holdings of Albemarle shares by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 1,682 shares of the specialty chemicals company valued at $393,000 after buying 45 additional shares last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in Albemarle by 7.5% in the fourth quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 699 shares of the specialty chemicals company worth $163,000 after buying 49 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV increased its stake in Albemarle shares by 2.2% during the 3rd quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV now owns 2,280 shares of the specialty chemicals company worth $499,000 after buying 50 more shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 78.48% of the company’s shares.

About Albemarle

Albemarle Corp. is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, transportation, pharmaceuticals, plant production, food safety and personalized chemistry services. It operates through the following segments: Lithium, Bromine Specialties and Catalysts.

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