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Albemarle reports sales drop, raises $1.3B to fund growth capex

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(Kitco News) - Albemarle (NYSE: ALB), a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, today announced preliminary results for the fourth-quarter ended December 31, 2020, as well as its intention to raise $1.3 billion to fund growth capital expenditures.

The company reported that net sales in Q4 2020 were between $870 million and $880 million, down 11% to 12% compared to Q4 2019, but above prior outlook. Net income was in the range of $77 million to $87 million, down 3% to 15% over Q4 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was between $213 million and $223 million, down 24% to 28%, but above prior outlook.

The same day the company announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of $1,300,000,000 of shares of its common stock. Albemarle intends to use the net proceeds of the offering primarily to fund growth capital expenditures, such as the construction and expansion of lithium operations in Australia, Chile and Silver Peak, Nevada, and opportunities in China. Albemarle also intends to use the net proceeds for debt repayment in the short term and other general corporate purposes.

Albemarle anticipates that its full-year 2021 performance will improve relative to 2020 with continued economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. The company expects its lithium business to experience lower pricing, offset by higher volumes. Higher lithium costs related to project start-ups are expected to be partially offset by efficiency improvements.

Albemarle, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts.

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