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Albemarle Q1 Profit Declines On Lower Sales - Update

Monday, specialty chemical manufacturer Albemarle Corp. (ALB) reported a decline in earnings for the first quarter, hurt by lower sales in all the four segments due to the global economic slowdown.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company reported net income attributable to Albemarle for the first quarter of $25.39 million or $0.28 per share, lower than net income of $63.26 million or $0.67 per share reported in the year-ago quarter.

On average, twelve analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.28 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales for the quarter decreased to $486.59 million from $668.18 million in the prior-year quarter. Eight analysts had a revenue consensus of $559.13 million for the first quarter.

Fine Chemicals segment delivered net sales of $120.80 million, down 18% from $147.49 million in the first quarter of 2008. Fine Chemicals segment income was $8.7 million, compared to $21.55 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Polymer Additives segment net sales was $123.20 million, down 50% from $244.59 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Segment loss was $11.73 million, compared to income of $29.75 million in the prior year period due primarily to reduced sales and production volumes.

Catalysts net sales for the quarter was $242.6 million, a decrease of 12% compared to the same period last year, due primarily to unfavorable metals impacts on hydroprocessing catalysts or HPC, unfavorable currency exchange rates lower FCC refinery catalysts volumes, partially offset by improved pricing in FCC refinery catalysts and Polyolefin catalysts. Catalysts segment income was $35.7 million, compared to $51.7 million in the prior year period.

ALB closed Monday's trading at $27.00, down $0.20 or 0.74% on a volume of 1.10 million shares. However, the stock gained 6 cents or 0.24% in the after-hour trade.

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