JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its stake in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 60.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 89,092 shares of the company’s stock after selling 138,321 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. owned approximately 0.14% of Ashland worth $10,225,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in ASH. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland during the first quarter worth about $40,366,000. Samlyn Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland during the first quarter worth about $19,518,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter worth about $11,843,000. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter worth about $10,204,000. Finally, Exane Asset Management acquired a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter worth about $8,936,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.88% of the company’s stock.
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 2.27% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $115.98. 282,074 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $7.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.70 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $117.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $114.80. Ashland Inc. has a one year low of $88.30 and a one year high of $125.00.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. Ashland had a return on equity of 15.90% and a net margin of 3.86%. The company earned $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.91 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Ashland Inc. will post $6.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.32%.
A number of analysts recently issued reports on ASH shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded shares of Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Ashland has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $125.75.
In other Ashland news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 903 shares of Ashland stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $108,360.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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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