Albemarle’s first-quarter dividend
On February 26, 2019, Albemarle (ALB) announced the key dates for its 2019 first-quarter dividend. To be eligible for the declared dividend, investors must hold Albemarle shares as of the close of market on March 15. It’s expected to pay the dividend on April 1, 2019.
For the first quarter of 2019, Albemarle has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3675 per share. On an annualized basis, the dividend will be $1.47 per share—an increase of 9.7% year-over-year. This is Albemarle’s 25th consecutive year of increasing its dividend. The increase in Albemarle’s dividend also means that its dividend has grown at a compound annual growth rate of ~9.1% since 2012.
At the end of the fourth quarter, Albemarle had 107 million outstanding shares. Assuming that there aren’t any buybacks until the record date, Albemarle could pay $39.32 million in dividends in the first quarter.
ALB’s free cash flow
In 2018, Albemarle reported a free cash flow of -$153.8 million, marking the second consecutive year during which it reported a negative free cash flow. If the current negative free cash flow trend continues, it will be difficult for Albemarle to manage its dividend payments and dividend growth. However, it should be noted that ALB’s capex has increased significantly, which could improve its free cash flows in the coming years.
Investors can hold Albemarle indirectly by investing in the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index ETF (QCLN), which has invested 7.2% of its portfolio in Albemarle as of March 11, 2019. The fund also provides exposure to Tesla (TSLA), Enersys (ENS), and First Solar (FSLR) with weights of 6.7%, 3.0%, and 4.9%, respectively.