SSgA Funds Management, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Basic Materials company by 5.61% to 7.38 million shares with purchase of 0.39 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 6.94% valued currently at $608.74 million. In addition, Baillie Gifford & Co. raised its holdings by 40373.0 to 4.42 million shares. And Fidelity Management & Research Co.. has lifted its position by 19.75% or 0.38 million shares – to 2.31 million shares.

With over 1.56 million Albemarle Corporation (ALB) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $97.39 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $151.93 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 6.92% and its price on 09/01/20 gained nearly 7.01%. Currently, there are 106.33M common shares owned by the public and among those 105.86M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 22 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for ALB have a consensus price objective of $79.83. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $100.00 and a low of $40.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Albemarle Corporation stock is 2.90 for the next 12 months. The average price target is -23.81% below its last price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -143.47% over that period. But an upside of 2.61% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $85.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 81 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 36 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 255,829 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 45 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 311,897 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Albemarle Corporation are Franklin Rising Dividends Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund. Franklin Rising Dividends Fund owns 5.08 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $418.92 million. The company sold -0.12 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 4.78% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 10367.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 3.02 million shares valued at over $249.38 million and representing 2.85% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.53% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) opened at $91.10, up $0.09 from a prior closing price of $91.01. However, the script later closed the day at $97.39, up 7.01%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 6.92% and 23.37% over the past three months. ALB shares are trading 33.34% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 61.70% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $48.89 and touched a high of $99.40 over the same period. Currently, 1.56 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.11 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 8.04%, 14.77%, and 30.74% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) shares accounts for 93.00% of the company’s 106.33M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 53.08%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 9.19% and 40.29% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $10.22B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.42. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 23.64, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $4.12. The company has a PEG of 1.58 and a Quick Ratio of 1.00 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.88. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.47% over the week and 3.30% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Albemarle Corporation (ALB) will achieve an EPS of $0.77 for the current quarter, $0.92 for the next quarter and $4.26 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.68 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.01. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.53 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -18.30%, and 21.30% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 15.00% over the next five years, compared to 14.40% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 22 brokerage firm advisors rate Albemarle Corporation (ALB) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.90. Specifically, 5 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 11 of the 22 advise that investors “hold,” and 4 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the ALB, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Berenberg stated their Sell rating for the stock in a research note on July 27, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $68. Loop Capital coverage for the Albemarle Corporation (ALB) stock in a research note released on June 26, 2020 offered a Hold rating with a price target of. KeyBanc Capital Markets was of a view on June 22, 2020 that the stock is Underweight, while Goldman gave the stock Neutral rating on May 12, 2020, issuing a price target of $67- $61. Loop Capital on their part issued Sell rating on April 29, 2020.