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Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,936,070 shares, a growth of 187.7% from the July 15th total of 2,410,804 shares, Stock Ratings News reports. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,923,414 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.6 days. Currently, 8.8% of the company’s shares are short sold.

In other Albemarle news, SVP D Michael Wilson acquired 5,000 shares of Albemarle stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 1st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $61.29 per share, for a total transaction of $306,450.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of research firms have recently commented on ALB. Analysts at Macquarie upgraded shares of Albemarle from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday. Separately, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Albemarle in a research note on Friday, August 1st. They now have a $61.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $70.00. Finally, analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Albemarle in a research note on Friday, August 1st. They now have a $80.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $85.00. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Albemarle presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $73.40.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) opened at 60.67 on Friday. Albemarle has a 52 week low of $59.86 and a 52 week high of $76.28. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $67.44 and its 200-day moving average is $66.96. The company has a market cap of $4.747 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.23.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) last released its earnings data on Wednesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $604.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $646.75 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.97 earnings per share. Albemarle’s revenue was up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Albemarle will post $4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.275 per share. This represents a $1.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 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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