Analysts Set Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Target Price at $120.00
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the ten ratings firms that are covering the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $120.00.
Several brokerages have commented on ASH. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 115.95 on Tuesday. Ashland has a one year low of $88.30 and a one year high of $125.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $117.52 and its 200 day moving average is $114.52.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. Ashland had a return on equity of 15.90% and a net margin of 3.86%. The company had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.91 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Ashland will post $6.87 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.35%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.32%.
In related news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total value of $60,318.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Ashland by 3.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,999 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,319,000 after buying an additional 389 shares in the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P raised its stake in Ashland by 97.4% in the first quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 68,118 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,490,000 after buying an additional 33,605 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Ashland by 3.3% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 386,402 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,463,000 after buying an additional 12,191 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in Ashland during the first quarter worth $3,516,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ashland by 14.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 82,034 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,020,000 after buying an additional 10,195 shares in the last quarter. 86.88% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Ashland Inc is engaged in specialty chemicals, and through Valvoline, is a consumer-branded lubricant supplier. The Company operates in three segments: Ashland Specialty Ingredients (Specialty Ingredients), Ashland Performance Materials (Performance Materials) and Valvoline. Its Specialty Ingredients segment is engaged in providing cellulose ethers, vinyl pyrrolidones and biofunctionals, and consists of two divisions: Consumer Specialties and Industrial Specialties.
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