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Albemarle (ALB) Announces Hike of 5% in Quarterly Dividend

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Albemarle Corporation ALB announced that its board has declared an increase in the quarterly dividend.

The revised dividend of 38.5 cents per share is roughly 5% higher than the previous quarterly dividend. The increased dividend will be paid out on Apr 1, 2020, to shareholders of record as of Mar 13, 2020. Following the hike, the company’s new annualized dividend amounted to $1.54 per share.

Albemarle was listed in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index last month for having increased dividends every year for the last 25 straight years. Notably, with the latest dividend increase, the company has hiked its dividend for the 26th consecutive year.

Albemarle’s shares are down 7.5% over a year compared with the 38.6% decline recorded by its industry.

 

 

In February, the company reported profits of $90.4 million or 85 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2019, down from $129.6 million or $1.21 per share in the year-ago quarter. Also, adjusted earnings per share of $1.73 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.75.

Net sales rose 8% year over year to $992.6 million in the fourth quarter. However, it lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,001 million.

On the fourth-quarter earnings call, Albemarle said that it envisions its 2020 results to be lower on a year-over-year basis, factoring in lower expected results from the Lithium segment and flat-to-modestly lower results from the Bromine Specialties unit, partly offset by flat-to-slightly higher results from the Catalysts division.

The company expects net sales of $3.48-$3.53 billion for 2020, suggesting a 2-3% decline from the year-ago reported figure. Moreover, Albemarle anticipates adjusted earnings of $4.80-$5.10 per share for 2020, indicating a year-over-year drop of 16-21%.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year has been forecast to be $880-$930 million, implying a 10-15% year-over-year decline.

The company also expects its cost-reduction program to deliver run-rate savings of more than $100 million by the end of 2021.

Albemarle Corporation Price and Consensus

 

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Albemarle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Daqo New Energy Corp. DQ, NovaGold Resources Inc. NG and Commercial Metals Company CMC.

Daqo New Energy has a projected earnings growth rate of 353.7% for 2020. The company’s shares have rallied 69.6% in a year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NovaGold has a projected earnings growth rate of 11.1% for 2020. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s shares have surged 103.1% in a year.

Commercial Metals currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a projected earnings growth rate of 21.6% for 2020. The company’s shares have rallied 8.3% in a year.

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