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Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings

Global lithium and specialty chemicals company Albemarle has reaffirmed full-year earnings and production guidance after revealing a 3,000-3,500t "volume shift" (on a lithium carbonate equivalent basis) from the current quarter to the balance of 2019. The production deferral is expected to hit Q1 revenue and EBITDA by US$40-45 million and $15-18 million, respectively.
Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings Albemarle says Q1 production bump won't affect 2019 earnings

Albemarle expects a lithium production volume shift from Q1 to the remainder of 2019

Staff Reporter

Albermarle said water-related production issues at its La Negra operations in Chile, and the "timing of customer qualifications of lithium hydroxide from Xinyu II and lithium carbonate from toll manufacturers" caused the production volume shift.

It expects first-quarter adjusted earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $1.20-$1.25, short of average Wall Street analyst forecasts calling for $1.33 on revenue of $842.61 million.

Albemarle previously guided for its core lithium-focused business unit to grow net sales by up to 14% this year on increased volumes. It expects 2019 sales of $3.65-$3.85 billion.

Full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share are expected to be $6.10-$6.50, compared with analyst predictions of $6.24, and will represent a pro forma growth rate of 12-20% over 2018. The company said it continued to expect the cadence of earnings to ramp through the year as new lithium capacity came on line.