Albemarle, one of the world's largest lithium producers, on Monday posted preliminary fourth-quarter earnings above market expectations.
The company said it expected fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of between $8.35 and $8.75, above the average analyst estimate of $7.67.
Global efforts to tackle climate change have fueled a surge in demand for lithium used in electric vehicle batteries that has far outpaced supply, while new sources fall short.
Prices have soared as a result. Average spot Asian price for battery-grade carbonate was assessed by Fastmarkets at $80 800 per tonne in November, a rise of over 1 000% since the start of 2022.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company estimated net sales of $2.59-billion to $2.65-billion, the midpoint of the range was slightly above estimates of $2.61-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Albemarle, which is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on February 15 after market closes, forecast 2023 adjusted earnings per share between $26.00 and $33.00, compared with estimates of $28.08.
The company will host its virtual 2023 strategy update on January 24.