Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 7.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 4,532 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 317 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ holdings in Ashland were worth $520,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Ashland by 1.4% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,239 shares of the company’s stock valued at $246,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in Ashland by 0.7% in the second quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. now owns 6,196 shares of the company’s stock valued at $699,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in Ashland by 1.3% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 6,249 shares of the company’s stock valued at $717,000 after buying an additional 80 shares in the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp boosted its stake in Ashland by 3.4% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 5,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $611,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Ashland by 1.1% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 19,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,106,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. 86.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 1.66% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $115.29. 192,709 shares of the stock were exchanged. Ashland Inc. has a 1-year low of $88.30 and a 1-year high of $125.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.47 and a beta of 1.11. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $117.56 and its 200-day moving average is $114.80.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted 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. The company earned $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. Ashland had a return on equity of 15.90% and a net margin of 3.86%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.91 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Ashland Inc. will post $6.87 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Ashland’s payout ratio is 51.32%.
ASH has been the topic of several analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group AG cut shares of Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. One 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’s stock. Ashland presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.75.
In related news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total transaction of $60,318.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available 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.
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