Albemarle Corporation has posted its second quarter financial highlights for 2019.
Albemarle operates brine production fields and chemical processing facilities in Columbia and Union counties.
Second quarter 2019 highlights:
-- Net sales were $885.1 million, an increase of 4 percent over the prior year; earnings were $1.45 per diluted share.
-- Adjusted diluted EPS was $1.55, an increase of 14 percent over the prior year.
-- Adjusted EBITDA increased 6 percent, excluding currency exchange impacts.
-- Revised agreement with Mineral Resources Limited to acquire a 60 percent interest in the Wodgina hard rock lithium mine project in Western Australia.
-- Raised full year outlook of adjusted diluted earnings per share to between $6.25 and $6.65.
"In the second quarter, Albemarle delivered adjusted diluted EPS of $1.55, an increase of 14 percent compared to the second quarter of 2018. All of our businesses met or exceeded our expectations this quarter with volume and pricing providing year-over-year growth in Lithium and Bromine," said Luke Kissam, Albemarle's CEO.
"The recently announced amendments to our transaction with Mineral Resources Limited and our decision to delay indefinitely certain lithium expansion projects will allow us to reduce capital expenditures significantly while still meeting the commitments we have made to our customers."
With first half 2019 performance as expected, the company has reconfirmed net sales and adjusted EBITDA guidance, while increasing adjusted EPS guidance.
Albemarle’s effective income tax rates for the second quarter of 2019 and 2018 of 18.2 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively, are influenced by non-recurring, other unusual and non-operating pension and OPEB items.
The decrease in the effective tax rate in the second quarter of 2019 compared to 2018 was impacted by a variety of factors, primarily stemming from a change in the geographic mix of earnings. Adjusted effective income tax rates, which exclude non-recurring, other unusual and non-operating pension and OPEB items, were 18.4 percent and 24.4 percent for the second quarter of 2019 and 2018, respectively, and continue to be influenced by the level and geographic mix of income.
Cash from operations was approximately $199.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019, a decrease of $24.6 million versus the same period in 2018, primarily due to increased inventory purchases to meet higher forecasted sales, the timing on collection of certain receivables, lower cash earnings in Catalysts reportable segment and higher cash taxes paid.
These were partially offset by higher dividends received from unconsolidated investments and increased cash earnings from Bromine Specialties. Capital expenditures were $415.6 million as compared to $280.9 million in the first six months of 2018, with the increase driven largely by expansion in the Lithium business.
Albemarle had $398.2 million in cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2019, as compared to $555.3 million at December 31, 2018. During the first six months of 2019, cash on hand, cash provided by operations and commercial paper note borrowings funded dividends to shareholders of $74.3 million, in addition to capital expenditures.
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