Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) – Equities research analysts at SunTrust Banks issued their Q1 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Ashland in a report released on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Sheehan forecasts that the brokerage will earn $1.28 per share for the quarter. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Ashland’s Q2 2017 earnings at $1.76 EPS, Q3 2017 earnings at $0.83 EPS and Q4 2017 earnings at $0.80 EPS.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.61 by $0.09. The company earned $1.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.25 billion. Ashland had a negative net margin of 0.59% and a positive return on equity of 15.23%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.62 EPS.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $140.00 price target on shares of Ashland in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. TheStreet lowered Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $119.00 price target on Ashland and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $123.33.

Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 111.12 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $112.68 and a 200-day moving average price of $114.99. Ashland has a 12-month low of $88.30 and a 12-month high of $125.00. The company’s market cap is $6.90 billion.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. MU Investments Co. Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Ashland during the third quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Bollard Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Ashland during the third quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Creative Planning increased its position in shares of Ashland by 87.4% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 465 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Ashland by 104.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 509 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ashland by 100.0% in the third quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,008 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 504 shares during the last quarter. 86.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Ashland news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,555 shares of Ashland stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.84, for a total transaction of $166,136.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -260.00%.

Ashland Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ASH

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