Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Short Interest Update

Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) saw a large growth in short interest in the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 741,600 shares, a growth of 5.7% from the May 15th total of 701,600 shares. Currently, 1.5% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 327,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.3 days.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Ashland

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ASH. GAMMA Investing LLC raised its position in shares of Ashland by 122.4% in the 1st quarter. GAMMA Investing LLC now owns 278 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $27,000 after buying an additional 153 shares in the last quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland in the fourth quarter valued at about $28,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC grew its position in Ashland by 143.9% in the fourth quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. Covestor Ltd raised its stake in Ashland by 338.0% during the third quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 403 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $33,000 after acquiring an additional 311 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CWM LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ashland by 163.7% in the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 559 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $47,000 after purchasing an additional 347 shares in the last quarter. 93.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ashland Stock Up 1.1 %

Shares of NYSE:ASH traded up $1.06 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $97.72. The stock had a trading volume of 228,297 shares, compared to its average volume of 416,266. The company has a market cap of $4.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.89, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a quick ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 3.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $97.56 and its 200-day simple moving average is $91.86. Ashland has a 12 month low of $70.82 and a 12 month high of $102.50.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $575.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $574.64 million. Ashland had a net margin of 9.09% and a return on equity of 5.57%. Ashland’s revenue was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.43 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Ashland will post 4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, June 1st were given a $0.405 dividend. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.66%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 31st. This is a boost from Ashland’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Ashland’s payout ratio is presently 42.97%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of research firms recently issued reports on ASH. Jefferies Financial Group raised Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $126.00 in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on shares of Ashland from $97.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Ashland from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $112.00 in a report on Thursday, April 11th. TheStreet upgraded Ashland from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, StockNews.com cut Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Ashland currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $106.44.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on ASH

Ashland Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients in the North and Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and internationally. It operates through Life Sciences, Personal Care, Specialty Additives, and Intermediates segments. The Life Sciences segment offers pharmaceutical solutions, including controlled release polymers, disintegrants, tablet coatings, thickeners, solubilizers, and tablet binders; nutrition solutions, such as thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and additives; and nutraceutical solutions comprising products for weight management, joint comfort, stomach and intestinal health, sports nutrition, and general wellness, as well as custom formulation, toll processing, and particle engineering solutions.

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