Wells Fargo & Company MN reduced its position in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 3.8% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 105,918 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,186 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned 0.17% of Ashland worth $12,281,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 1.2% in the third quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 2,145,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,717,000 after buying an additional 25,964 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 29.1% in the third quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,474 shares of the company’s stock worth $519,000 after buying an additional 1,008 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 2.0% in the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 64,766 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,505,000 after buying an additional 1,276 shares in the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ashland during the third quarter worth about $107,000. Finally, Exane Asset Management boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 79.1% in the third quarter. Exane Asset Management now owns 139,476 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,172,000 after buying an additional 61,612 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.17% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 1.48% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $114.66. The stock had a trading volume of 290,861 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $112.13 and its 200-day moving average is $115.12. The stock’s market cap is $7.13 billion. Ashland Inc. has a 12 month low of $88.30 and a 12 month high of $125.00.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 firm had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Ashland Inc. will post $6.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently -260.00%.

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A number of research firms recently commented on ASH. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 price target on shares of Ashland in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $129.00 price target (down from $140.00) on shares of Ashland in a research report on Wednesday, November 23rd. TheStreet lowered Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report 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 report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 7th. One equities research 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’s stock. Ashland presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $123.33.

In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,555 shares of Ashland stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.84, for a total transaction of $166,136.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.

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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