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Why Is Albemarle (ALB) Up 2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Albemarle (ALB - Free Report) . Shares have added about 2% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Albemarle due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Albemarle's Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates in Q4

Albemarle logged a loss of $617.7 million or $5.26 per share in the fourth quarter of 2023. The figure deteriorated from a profit of $1,132.4 million or $9.60 per share a year ago.

Adjusted earnings in the reported quarter came in at $1.85 per share, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 99 cents.

Revenues fell roughly 10.1% year over year to roughly $2.36 billion in the quarter. However, the metric beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.29 billion. The top line was hurt by lower lithium market prices, partly offset by increased volumes in Energy Storage and higher volumes and pricing in Ketjen.

Segment Highlights

Sales from the Energy Storage unit fell around 15.4% year over year to $1.68 billion. It beat the consensus estimate of $1.64 billion. The decline in sales was attributed to reduced pricing, adjusted for foreign currency effects, driven by the downturn in the lithium market. However, sales volume saw an increase primarily due to the expansion of La Negra III/IV in Chile and higher tolling volumes aimed at satisfying escalating customer needs.

The Specialties segment recorded sales of $339.6 million, down around 16.1% year over year. It was below the consensus estimate of $342 million. Lower volumes and a decline in pricing impacted sales.

The Ketjen unit recorded revenues of $341.5 million in the reported quarter, up roughly 45% year over year. It was above the consensus estimate of $296 million. Higher prices and higher volumes aided sales.

Financial Position

Albemarle ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of roughly $889.9 million, down around 40% year over year. Long-term debt was around $3.5 billion, up around 10% year over year.

FY23 Results

In 2023, Albemarle achieved record net sales of $9.6 billion, surging 31%, with 21% stemming from total volume growth. Energy Storage sales volumes experienced a robust 35% increase, underscoring significant market demand. The company achieved a net income of $1.6 billion, or $13.36 per share, including a pre-tax charge for lower of cost or net realizable value (LCM) and a tax valuation allowance expense in China, both recognized in the fourth quarter. Adjusted EPS stood at $15.22 per share, or $22.25, excluding the LCM charge and the $223 million tax valuation allowance expense.


Albemarle anticipates Energy Storage volumes to increase 10-20% in 2024 from 2023 levels.

Albemarle expects net sales for its Specialties segment to range from $1.3-$1.5 billion, with an EBITDA of $270-$300 million. For the Ketjen segment, net sales are projected to be $1-$1.2 billion, with an EBITDA of $130-$150 million.

Capital expenditures for 2024 are estimated to be between $1.6-$1.8 billion, while depreciation and amortization are projected to range from $580-$660 million. The adjusted effective tax rate is expected to be between 27% and 28%, corporate costs between $120-$150 million and interest and financing expenses between $180-$270 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended downward during the past month.

The consensus estimate has shifted -53.62% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Albemarle has a subpar Growth Score of D, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with an F. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It's no surprise Albemarle has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

Performance of an Industry Player

Albemarle belongs to the Zacks Chemical - Diversified industry. Another stock from the same industry, LyondellBasell (LYB - Free Report) , has gained 2.6% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended December 2023.

LyondellBasell reported revenues of $9.93 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -2.7%. EPS of $1.26 for the same period compares with $1.29 a year ago.

For the current quarter, LyondellBasell is expected to post earnings of $1.57 per share, indicating a change of -37.2% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged over the last 30 days.

LyondellBasell has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of A.

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