Albemarle raises 2021 forecast for increasing global lithium demand

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Sales of lithium, the company’s largest division, jumped 35% in the quarter, helped by rising prices. Albemarle Managing Director Kent Masters predicts “growing demand from our customers” for EV battery metal.

Albemarle reported a third quarter net loss of $ 392.8 million, or $ 3.36 per share, compared to net income of $ 98.3 million, or 92 cents per share in the last year’s quarter, even as revenues increased by 11%.

The result included a charge of $ 657.4 million related to an arbitration decision regarding the sale by Rockwood Holdings Inc in 2014 of a pigment division to Huntsman Corp. Albemarle inherited Rockwood’s responsibilities in a 2015 buyout, making it the world leader in lithium.

Excluding that charge and other one-off items, Albemarle gained $ 1.05, well ahead of analysts’ expected earnings of 77 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company opened its La Negra III / IV lithium production plant in Chile during the quarter and said it plans to complete construction of its Kemerton lithium production plant in Australia by the end of the quarter. ‘year.

Albemarle also bought a lithium processor in China during the quarter, further strengthening its operations in the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

Sales increased in the company’s bromine division, which sells chemicals for fire extinguishers and other products, and fell in the catalyst division, which sells materials for petroleum refineries.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company is scheduled to hold an investor conference call Thursday morning to discuss quarterly results.

(By Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Richard Pullin)


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