Albemarle Q4 Profit Tops Wall Street

Albemarle Corp. (ALB) Tuesday said its profit for the fourth quarter increased from a year ago, as revenues grew 23 percent. Both earnings and revenues for the quarter trumped Wall Street estimates.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle's fourth-quarter profit rose to $149.82 million or $1.34 per share from $88.83 million or $0.78 per share last year. On average, 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimate earnings of $1.21 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the quarter rose 23.1% to $857.79 million from $696.66 million last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $795.54 million.

Sales growth was driven by the favorable impact of higher sales volumes and pricing impacts across each segments and favorable currency exchange.

Looking forward to the full year 2018, Albemarle expects sales of $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion and adjusted earnings between $5.00 and $5.40 per share.

Further, the company said on December 14 it agreed to sell the polyolefin catalysts and components portion of the PCS business to W.R. Grace & Co. for about $416 million in cash. The transaction includes Albemarle's Product Development Center located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and operations at the Yeosu, South Korea site. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

ALB closed Tuesday's trading at $111.57, up $1.47 or 1.34% on the NYSE. The stock further gained $2.43 or 2.18% in the after-hours trading.

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