GSA Capital Partners LLP Purchases New Stake in Ashland Inc. (ASH)

GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund purchased 2,364 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $271,000.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Ashland by 2.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,145,414 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,921,000 after buying an additional 51,438 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Ashland during the fourth quarter worth $64,123,000. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in Ashland by 1.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 404,038 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,427,000 after buying an additional 4,258 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in 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. Finally, TimesSquare Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland during the first quarter worth $40,366,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.88% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded down 0.43% on Thursday, hitting $117.07. The company had a trading volume of 586,329 shares. Ashland Inc. has a 1-year low of $88.30 and a 1-year high of $125.00. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $117.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $114.41.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.04 by $0.09. Ashland had a net margin of 3.86% and a return on equity of 15.90%. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.91 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ashland Inc. will post $6.87 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.33%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.32%.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on ASH shares. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG cut Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.75.

In other news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 903 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $108,360.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 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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