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Albemarle (ALB) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

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Albemarle Corporation ALB will release first-quarter 2021 results after the closing bell on May 5. The company is likely to have benefited from its cost-reduction actions in the quarter. However, the impacts soft lithium prices are likely to reflect on its results.

The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters. In this timeframe, it delivered an earnings surprise of 19.6%, on average. It posted an earnings surprise of 1.7% in the last reported quarter.

Albemarle’s shares are up 193.7% over a year compared with a 71.8% rise of the industry it belongs to.


Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

What do the Estimates Say?

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues for Albemarle for the to-be-reported quarter stands at $754 million, reflecting an increase of 2% from the year-ago quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for net sales for the Lithium unit stands at $245 million, indicating a 3.3% year-over-year rise. The same for the Bromine Specialties segment for the first quarter is pegged at $246 million, reflecting an 6% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for net sales for the Catalysts segment is pinned at $215 million, indicating a 3.9% year-over-year increase.

Some Factors to Watch For

Benefits of the company’s cost-saving initiatives are expected to get reflected in the quarter to be reported. The company remains on track with its cost-saving program which is expected to deliver run rate savings of more than $120 million by the end of 2021. Its cost actions are expected to have supported margins in the first quarter.

However, some impact of lower lithium prices is expected to get reflected in the Lithium segment’s results in the first quarter. The company, earlier this year, noted that it sees lower pricing for the full year due to lower average realized pricing for carbonate and technical grade products. Weaker prices might have impacted its lithium business in the first quarter.

Moreover, weak Hydroprocessing Catalysts (“HPC”) volumes are expected to have affected results in the Catalysts unit in the first quarter. HPC volumes remain under pressure due to depressed oil prices and reduced fuel demand.

Some impact of severe winter weather is also likely to reflect on the company’s first-quarter results. Albemarle, in fourth-quarter call, noted that it temporarily shut down four of its U.S. plants in response to bad weather conditions.

Albemarle Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Albemarle Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
Albemarle Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Albemarle Corporation price-eps-surprise | Albemarle Corporation Quote

Zacks Model

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Albemarle this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP for Albemarle is +9.85%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the first quarter is currently pegged at 79 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Albemarle currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some companies in the basic materials space you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Westlake Chemical Corporation WLK, scheduled to release earnings on May 4, has an Earnings ESP of +0.64% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Koppers Holdings, Inc. KOP, scheduled to release earnings on May 7, has an Earnings ESP of +5.26% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. CF, scheduled to release earnings on May 5, has an Earnings ESP of +4.53% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.

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