ASX lithium shares performing strongly on Friday include:
- Azure Minerals Ltd (ASX: AZS) shares up 8.6%
- IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) shares up 4.4%
- Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) shares up 4.1%
- Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) shares up 1.9%
- Liontown Resources Ltd (ASX: LTR) shares up 6.6%
- Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) shares up 10.2%
- Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) shares up 7.6%.
Meantime, the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is up 1.1%.
Let's take a look at the report's details and what the management team said during the webcast.
How Q3 looked for Albemarle
For the three months ending 30 September, Albemarle reported net sales of $2.3 billion, up 10% year over year (yoy), and net income of $302.5 million or $2.57 per diluted share.
In a statement, Albemarle CEO Kent Masters said:
Albemarle grew net sales by 10%, driven by higher volumes in our Energy Storage business.
In the third quarter, we formed new strategic partnerships and streamlined our existing MARBL joint venture to better position Albemarle for long-term growth.
On the conference call, Eric Norris, Albemarle's President of Energy Storage, said all of the company's contracts were performing despite lower EV production in 2023 due to an inventory correction.
He said: "… what's happening now is road bumps, but certainly not a determinant for the long-term growth we have."
Albemarle issues FY23 earnings downgrade
Lower lithium commodity prices and higher costs of production have resulted in an earnings downgrade for full-year FY23.
Back in August, Albemarle told the market it was expecting net sales of between $10.4 and 11.5 billion. Now, it expects net sales of between $9.5 billion to $9.8 billion.
Its forecasted adjusted EBITDA has gone from a range of $3.8 billion to $4.4 billion to a range of $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion.
The company detailed its full-year outlook for sales and EBITDA:
Net sales are expected to increase 30% to 35% over the prior year, primarily driven by new mining and conversion capacity delivering 30% to 35% volumetric growth in Energy Storage.
Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be flat to down 5% year over year, primarily due to lower Energy Storage pricing as well as the realization of higher spodumene pricing in costs of goods sold from our JV-owned mines.
Albemarle is now reviewing its capital expenditure and intends to pull back on M&A activities after its failed takeover bid for Liontown Resources.
Albemarle and its joint venture partners at Greenbushes are reportedly considering production cuts amid falling demand for EVs, particularly in China.
Trading Economics reports that EV sales in China are expected to fall by 11% this year, while Masters warns that EV sales in the US and Europe could also decline next year due to a softer global economy.