Albemarle forecasts full-year profit above estimates

(Reuters) - Lithium miner Albemarle Corp ALB.N forecast full-year profit above estimates on Wednesday, but warned that the company's annual performance will be subdued, following reduced global economic activity due to the global pandemic.

Lithium producers raised output last year in anticipation of a demand rush from EV manufacturers going into 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the brakes on the electrification revolution and dented global automobile sales.

The company said it expects full-year net sales to be between $3.05 billion and $3.15 billion.

Albemarle forecast annual adjusted earnings between $3.80 and $4.15 per share, compared with analysts’ estimates of $3.52 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company had withdrawn its 2020 outlook in May, citing the impact from the virus outbreak.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $98.3 million, or 92 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $155.1 million, or $1.46 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company earned $1.09 per share, beating estimates of 78 cents per share.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta