Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Albemarle Put Options (ALB)

Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) saw some unusual options trading on Friday. Traders acquired 12,680 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,460% compared to the typical daily volume of 813 put options.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on ALB. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on Albemarle from $132.00 to $136.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $124.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 24th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Albemarle in a research note on Sunday, April 9th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Albemarle in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Albemarle presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $117.20.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) traded up 0.29% during trading on Friday, reaching $110.32. The company had a trading volume of 897,049 shares. Albemarle has a one year low of $74.35 and a one year high of $112.88. The company has a market capitalization of $12.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.81 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $107.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $96.36.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.10. Albemarle had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 14.38%. The firm had revenue of $722.06 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $678.74 million. Analysts expect that Albemarle will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.16%. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.54%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle during the third quarter valued at about $104,000. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Albemarle by 21.7% in the third quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 28,623 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,447,000 after buying an additional 5,101 shares during the period. Quantitative Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Albemarle during the third quarter valued at about $8,574,000. 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 specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $354,587,000 after buying an additional 2,846,734 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank raised its position in Albemarle by 132.0% in the third quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 11,578 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $990,000 after buying an additional 6,588 shares in the last quarter. 86.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Albemarle

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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