Ashland Inc. (ASH) Given “Buy” Rating at Deutsche Bank AG
A number of other research firms have also issued reports on ASH. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, October 7th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $119.00 target price on Ashland and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Ashland from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $123.33.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 112.99 on Monday. The company’s market capitalization is $7.01 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $112.13 and its 200-day moving average price is $115.12. Ashland has a 12 month low of $88.30 and a 12 month high of $125.00.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.61 by $0.09. Ashland had a negative net margin of 0.59% and a positive return on equity of 15.23%. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.62 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ashland will post $6.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced 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 yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently -260.00%.
In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,555 shares of the 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 legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its position in Ashland by 0.3% in the third quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 3,815 shares of the company’s stock worth $443,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. raised its position in Ashland by 0.7% in the second quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. now owns 6,196 shares of the company’s stock worth $699,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC raised its position in Ashland by 3.0% in the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 2,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in Ashland by 6.4% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,267 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its position in Ashland by 1.3% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 6,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $717,000 after buying an additional 80 shares during the last quarter. 89.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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