Albemarle`s lithium sales drop after Chilean rains
Mining News Pro - Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), the world`s no.1 heavy machinery maker, announced this week the signing of an agreement to create a technologically advanced Koodaideri mine.

According to Mining News Pro - The weakness in its lithium unit, which executives have repeatedly labeled as the company`s future, was largely due to torrential January rains at the company`s mines in Chile, which rely on evaporation ponds to produce the white metal.

"Albemarle posted first-quarter net income of $133.6 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with $131.8 million, or $1.18, in the year-ago period"

The effects from the rain – lithium sales fell 2 percent during the quarter – had been expected, but still comes as anxiety grows about short-term demand for the metal.

Albemarle posted first-quarter net income of $133.6 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with $131.8 million, or $1.18, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, Albemarle earned $1.23 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.22 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Sales of bromine, a chemical used to make fire extinguishers, jumped 10 percent during the quarter. Sales of catalysts, which are primarily used in oil refining, dropped 4 percent.

Albemarle confirmed its companywide 2019 sales forecast of $3.65 billion to $3.85 billion, in what would be an 8 percent to 14 percent increase from 2018 levels.

"We remain confident in our expectations for the full year," Chief Executive Luke Kissam said in a statement.

Albemarle rival Livent Corp, which produces in Argentina, cut its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday, citing lower lithium demand and weaker prices. Livent`s shares tumbled more than 15 percent on Wednesday after those results.

Shares of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle fell 0.8 percent to $72 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The company`s executives plan to hold a conference call on Thursday morning to discuss the quarterly results.

Albemarle operates the only functioning lithium mine in the United States.

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