On Sep 14, Zacks Investment Research downgraded chemical
) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
Albemarle posted disappointing 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.
The company delivered negative earnings surprises in two of
the last four quarters, but it recorded an average positive
surprise of 3.01% for the last four quarters.
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
Albemarle's 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
Net sales in the Fine Chemistry segment slipped 16% to $176.1
million in the second quarter from $208.1 million in the
previous-year quarter primarily due to unfavorable sales volumes
and pricing. Net sales in the polymer solutions segment also
slipped 9% to $224.3 million due to phosphorus flame retardants
business exit in the second quarter of 2012 and overall lower
flame retardant pricing, partly offset by favorable flame
Sluggish economic environment across Europe, weak electronics
and construction markets, and lower metals surcharges at the
beginning of 2013 impacted Albemarle's performance. However,
Albemarle successfully met several key milestones with the
bromine and organometallics expansions, which are expected to be
beneficial to the company on a long-term basis.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 for Albemarle has gone
down 10.8% to $4.22 per share as most estimates were revised
lower over the last 60 days. Similarly, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for 2014 has decreased 9.3% to $4.98 per share.
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