Livent beats profit estimates, raises forecast on higher lithium demand

Lithium producer Livent Corp's processing plant is seen in Belmont
Lithium producer Livent Corp's processing plant is seen in Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, U.S. July 15, 2021. Picture taken July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo

May 3 (Reuters) - Livent Corp (LTHM.N) on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and bolstered its 2022 revenue forecast as it benefited from higher demand for lithium used in electric-vehicle batteries, sending its shares surging 14%.

The Philadelphia-based company now expects annual revenue of $755 million to $835 million from its previous forecast of $540 million to $600 million.

Lithium prices have hit record highs as demand for the EV battery metal has surged amid global efforts to decarbonize automobiles to tackle climate change.

Earlier this month, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk said lithium is "a limiting factor" in the growth of EVs as he encouraged companies to enter the lithium sector to take advantage of higher prices.

Livent posted a net profit of $53.2 million, or 28 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with a loss of $800,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier

Excluding items, the company earned 21 cents per share, beating analysts' expectations of 14 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.

"Strong lithium demand growth has continued in 2022," said Livent CEO Paul Graves in a statement, adding that Livent saw higher realized prices across its entire product portfolio.

Revenue rose 56% to $143.5 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $140.15 million.

Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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