Albemarle expects to raise its lithium prices this year by at least another 55%, part of a strategy it outlined last month for prices to remain high indefinitely in order to incentivize development of new lithium mines.
The company has been aggressively marketing lithium for uses beyond the auto market, including in lubricants, glass, tires and other consumer products. For the year, Albemarle expects lithium sales to jump at least 30% from 2022 levels.
“Our growth potential extends well beyond the current EV opportunity,” Kent Masters, Albemarle’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The company posted net income of $1.13 billion, or $9.60 per share, compared with a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, Albemarle earned $8.62 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $8.28 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The results had been preliminarily posted last month.
Albemarle last fall received a $149.7 million grant from the White House to build a lithium processing facility in North Carolina, part of its plan to retain its industry dominance as the United States builds out its own EV supply chain.
The company’s stock rose slightly in after-hours trading to $273 per share. Albemarle plans to hold a conference call to discuss the quarterly results on Thursday morning.
(By Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)