Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 28.9% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 4,570 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,024 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Inc.’s holdings in Ashland were worth $524,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in ASH. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ashland during the first quarter worth about $3,516,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. 86.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) opened at 115.95 on Friday. Ashland Inc. has a 12 month low of $88.30 and a 12 month high of $125.00. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $117.52 and a 200 day moving average price of $114.52.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. Ashland had a net margin of 3.86% and a return on equity of 15.90%. The company earned $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.91 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Ashland Inc. will post $6.87 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.35%. Ashland’s payout ratio is currently 51.32%.
A number of analysts have issued reports on ASH shares. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a report on Thursday, July 28th. One investment 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 company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $125.75.
In other Ashland news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 18th. The shares were 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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.
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding ASH? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH).
Receive News & Ratings for Ashland Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ashland Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.