© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee walks near lithium evaporation ponds at Albemarle Lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada, U.S. October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
(Reuters) – Albemarle (NYSE:) has laid off more than 300 employees, or 4% of its total workforce, in its U.S. and global operations, The Information said on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Shares of the world’s largest lithium producer were down 1.8% in premarket trading.
U.S. operations of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company saw layoffs in its legal, mergers and acquisitions, marketing, materials sciences, research and development and recycling teams, according to the report.
Brokerage TD Cowen cut Albemarle’s rating to “market perform” from “outperform” as it said it anticipated inordinate capital expenditure cuts, increased balance-sheet stress and cash burn in a weak pricing environment.
The firm had said earlier in January it would cut jobs and defer spending on a U.S. refinery project, as part of a wide-ranging plan to slash costs amid falling lithium prices.
Global supply of the ultralight metal over the past year has outpaced demand from the battery market, fueling a glut that has dragged on pricing.
Albemarle did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.