Albemarle Profits Up

19.04.2012 -

Chemical maker Albemarle's first quarter earnings rose, and beat Wall Street's expectations, on strong sales of catalysts used by petroleum refiners.

Sales of specialty materials have become a niche industry for Albemarle and its peers, with customers increasingly willing to pay more for them.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company said net income rose to $108 million, or $1.20 per share, from $106.6 million, or $1.15 a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.16 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 2% to $711.7 million. Analysts expected $730.4 million.

Sales of its catalysts rose 13% to $293.5 million from the same period last year.

Albemarle also said that sales in its fine chemistry unit, which supplies material for the pharmaceutical industry, increased 7% to $190 million.

Sales of polymer solutions fell 12% to $228.1 million.