Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) – Analysts at Jefferies Group decreased their FY2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Ashland in a report issued on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander now anticipates that the firm will earn $6.50 per share for the year, down from their previous estimate of $7.00. Jefferies Group currently has a “Buy” rating on the stock.
ASH has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Ashland has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.75.
Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 117.90 on Thursday. Ashland has a 12-month low of $88.30 and a 12-month high of $125.00. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $117.72 and a 200-day moving average of $114.83. The firm has a market cap of $7.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.34 and a beta of 1.11.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. The business earned $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. Ashland had a net margin of 3.86% and a return on equity of 15.90%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.91 EPS.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ASH. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in Ashland by 104.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 994 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 509 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning increased its stake in Ashland by 87.4% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 997 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 465 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. bought a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter worth approximately $135,000. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC increased its stake in Ashland by 200.0% in the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 1,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $172,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northstar Group Inc. bought a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter worth approximately $200,000. 86.88% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 903 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $108,360.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.32%.
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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