Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd reduced its stake in Albemarle Co. (NYSE:ALB) by 9.4% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 23,297 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 2,403 shares during the period. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd’s holdings in Albemarle were worth $2,461,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ALB. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,326,177 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $544,643,000 after buying an additional 186,320 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 14.0% in the first quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 5,705,825 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $602,763,000 after buying an additional 702,388 shares in the last quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 2.9% in the first quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 2,142,447 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $226,328,000 after buying an additional 60,865 shares in the last quarter. Putnam Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 12.3% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 1,234,882 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $106,299,000 after buying an additional 135,205 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Columbus Circle Investors raised its position in shares of Albemarle by 10.0% in the first quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 1,110,457 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $117,309,000 after buying an additional 100,823 shares in the last quarter. 86.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Albemarle Co. (ALB) traded down 0.35% on Thursday, reaching $113.20. The company had a trading volume of 302,376 shares. Albemarle Co. has a 52 week low of $74.86 and a 52 week high of $114.29. The company has a market capitalization of $12.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.51 and a beta of 1.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $109.14 and its 200-day moving average is $98.08.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $722.06 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $678.74 million. Albemarle had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 14.38%. Equities research analysts forecast that Albemarle Co. will post $4.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be paid a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. Albemarle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.54%.

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Several research analysts have recently issued reports on ALB shares. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on Albemarle in a research report on Thursday, February 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $114.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Citigroup Inc lowered Albemarle from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $104.77 to $112.00 in a research report on Monday, March 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $125.00 target price on shares of Albemarle in a research report on Friday, March 17th. Three equities research 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. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $113.09.

Albemarle Company Profile

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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