BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Shares in specialty chemicals maker Albemarle Corp. fell Wednesday after the company issued a fourth-quarter and full-year earnings outlook that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.
The Baton Rouge company's shares fell more than 7 percent in trading Wednesday.
Management said the company had experienced a slower-than-expected quarter due to weaker demand for flame retardants and other products, as well as more cautious capital management by its customers.
The trend pushed certain product orders into next year, the company said.
All told, Albemarle anticipates adjusted earnings for the quarter will range from $83 million to $88 million, or $1.02 to $1.07 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected, on average, adjusted earnings of $1.21 per share for the quarter.
For the full year, the company projects earnings per share will range from $4 to $4.05. Analysts were anticipating $4.20 per share.
Albemarle also said it expects to book a pre-tax special charge of between $30 million and $35 million during the quarter in connection with a plan that involves restructuring the company's workforce from three global business units into two, among other changes.
"With the restructuring largely complete by year end, we expect to grow earnings in 2014, and our cash generation and strong balance sheet will allow us to continue returning cash to shareholders via our dividends and stock repurchase program," said Luke Kissam, Albemarle's president and chief executive.
Albemarle is scheduled to report its full fourth-quarter financial results on Jan. 28.
It shares fell $4.96, or 7.2 percent, to $63.81 in trading Wednesday.