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Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) was the target of a large growth in short interest in May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 2,672,934 shares, a growth of 56.1% from the April 30th total of 1,712,072 shares, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. Approximately 3.4% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 533,162 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.0 days.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Robert W. Baird raised their price target on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $70.00 to $74.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 24th. Separately, analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Albemarle Corp. in a research note on Monday, April 21st. They now have a $72.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $70.00. Finally, analysts at Citigroup Inc. raised their price target on shares of Albemarle Corp. from $66.00 to $69.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 9th. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.61.

Shares of Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) opened at 71.60 on Thursday. Albemarle Corp. has a 1-year low of $60.16 and a 1-year high of $72.69. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $68.73 and a 200-day moving average of $66.26. The company has a market cap of $5.695 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.28.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 16th. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $656.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $655.87 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.93 earnings per share. Albemarle Corp.’s revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Albemarle Corp. will post $4.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 13th will be given a dividend of $0.275 per share. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 11th.

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, which meet customer needs across a range of end markets, including the petroleum refining, consumer electronics, plastics/packaging, construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services markets.

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