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Albemarle Hikes Performance Chemicals Prices

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Albemarle Corporation (ALB) declared that it will raise elemental bromine and hydrobromic acid prices in India, China and other parts of Asia by 25%. The price hike is effective immediately or as per the contracts.

Albemarle’s elemental bromine and hydrobromic acid products are mainly used in agricultural and pharmaceuticals products. These products fall under the company's Performance Chemicals division in the Fine Chemistry business segment.

Albemarle is a leading maker of specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services.

Albemarle came out with its second-quarter 2013 results on Jul 17. The company reported adjusted earnings (excluding non-operating items) of 97 cents a share in the quarter compared with $1.28 a share earned in the year-ago quarter. The results were below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 99 cents.

Profit, as reported, was $82.7 million or 98 cents per share. This represents a  65% increase from $50.1 million or 56 cents per share posted in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues decreased 7.4% to $634.2 million in the quarter from $684.9 million in the year-ago quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $660 million. The results were impacted by exit from the phosphorus flame retardants business, lower metals surcharges, unfavorable pricing in bromine portfolio and lower Fine Chemistry Services volumes, partly offset by favorable volumes in Refinery Catalysts and Brominated Flame Retardant businesses.

Albemarle faced headwinds including a sluggish economic environment across Europe, weak electronics and construction markets, and lower metals surcharges at the beginning of 2013. However, Albemarle successfully met several key milestones with the bromine and organometallics expansions, which are expected to benefit the company on a long-term basis.

Albemarle retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Northern Technologies International Corp. (NTIC), Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT) and Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN). All of them hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on EMN

Read the Full Research Report on ALB

Read the Full Research Report on CYT

Read the Full Research Report on NTIC

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