U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 7 mins

Albemarle (ALB) Tops Q3 Earnings Estimates, Revenues Lag

Zacks Equity Research

Albemarle Corporation ALB recorded a profit of $155.1 million or $1.46 per share in the third quarter of 2019, up around 20% from $129.7 million or $1.20 per share it earned year ago.

The bottom line in the reported quarter was boosted by higher earnings across the company’s businesses, reduced interest and financing expenses as well as a lower effective tax rate.

Adjusted earnings for the reported quarter were $1.53 per share, up roughly 17% year over year. It trounced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.49.

Revenues rose around 13% year over year to $879.7 million in the quarter. It, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $899 million. Revenues were aided by higher volumes across the board and favorable pricing across Lithium and Bromine Specialties units.

Albemarle Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Albemarle Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Albemarle Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Albemarle Corporation Quote

Segment Highlights

Sales from the Lithium unit went up around 22% year over year to $330.4 million in the reported quarter, aided by favorable pricing and higher sales volumes, partly offset by deferred shipments due to the impact of Typhoon Tapah. Adjusted EBITDA was up 12% year over year to $127.5 million.

The Bromine Specialties segment logged sales of $256.3 million, up around 10% year over year, driven by favorable pricing and higher volumes. Adjusted EBITDA was $88.8 million, up around 13% year over year.

The Catalysts unit recorded revenues of $261.3 million in the reported quarter, up roughly 4% year over year. Adjusted EBITDA was $66.9 million, up roughly 7% year over year. Favorable pricing in Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalysts was offset by reduced volumes due to delays in the start-up of new FCC units.

Financial Position

Albemarle ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of roughly $317.8 million, down roughly 50% year over year. Long-term debt was around $1,382 million, down around 2% year over year.

Cash flow from operations was $345.6 million for the first nine months of 2019, down around 8% year over year. Capital expenditures were $608.5 million for the period, up 29% year over year.

Outlook

Albemarle backed its earnings outlook for 2019 which it had provided last month. It continues to see adjusted earnings for 2019 in the band of $6.00-$6.20 per share, a year-over-year increase of 10-14%.

The company expects net sales for 2019 to be between $3.6 billion and $3.7 billion, representing 7-10% year over year growth. Moreover, Albemarle sees adjusted EBITDA for the year in the range of $1.02-$1.06 billion, representing 2-6% year over year growth.

The company also initiated a cost management program which it expects to deliver more than $100 million in savings over a two-year period.

Price Performance

Albemarle’s shares are down around 13.5% so far this year compared with the roughly 16.3% decline recorded by its industry.



 

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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

Better-ranked stocks worth a look in the basic materials space include Agnico Eagle Mines Limited AEM, Kinross Gold Corporation KGC and Franco-Nevada Corporation FNV, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Agnico Eagle has a projected earnings growth rate of 168.6% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 68% in a year’s time.

Kinross has projected earnings growth rate of 210% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged around 81% in a year’s time.

Franco-Nevada has estimated earnings growth rate of 39.3% for the current year. The company’s shares have gained roughly 48% in a year’s time.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>