Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group reduced their FY2016 earnings per share estimates for shares of Ashland in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander now anticipates that the firm will post earnings of $6.50 per share for the year, down from their prior estimate of $7.00. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating on the stock.
Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. 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 issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $125.75.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) traded up 1.14% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $117.28. 335,477 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $117.61 and a 200 day moving average price of $114.81. Ashland has a one year low of $88.30 and a one year high of $125.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.13 and a beta of 1.11.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.91 EPS.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Creative Planning raised its position in Ashland by 87.4% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 465 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Ashland by 104.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 509 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at $135,000. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its position in Ashland by 200.0% in the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 1,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northstar Group Inc. purchased a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at $200,000. 86.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 903 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $108,360.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 1.27% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.35%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 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.
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.