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Albemarle Windfall Shows Lithium's Resilience to Recession Fears

  • Company now sees itself as free cash flow positive this year
  • Lithium prices soaring this year, outpacing other metals
A mine worker takes water samples from a brine pool at the Albemarle Lithium mine in Calama, Antofagasta region, Chile.

A mine worker takes water samples from a brine pool at the Albemarle Lithium mine in Calama, Antofagasta region, Chile.

Photographer: Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg
Updated on

The lithium boom is proving so resilient amid recession fears that the world’s biggest producer now expects its operating cash flow to outweigh total expenditures for the first time in six years.

On Wednesday, Albemarle Corp. reported higher-than-expected second-quarter profit and lifted its annual guidance beyond analyst estimates. The brighter outlook means it now expects to be free cash flow positive in 2022, while consensus is for it to stay negative to the tune of more than $500 million. Shares reversed an early gain to fall 1.9% in New York.