Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado lowered its stake in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 1.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 104,720 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,281 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado’s holdings in Ashland were worth $12,019,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in ASH. Strs Ohio boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 1.7% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 103,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,926,000 after buying an additional 1,702 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in shares of Ashland during the second quarter worth about $10,204,000. Oakbrook Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 12.3% in the second quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 3,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $367,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Ashland during the second quarter worth about $439,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 51.2% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,944 shares of the company’s stock worth $797,000 after buying an additional 2,352 shares in the last quarter. 86.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 0.22% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $114.49. The stock had a trading volume of 234,037 shares. Ashland Inc. has a 12 month low of $88.30 and a 12 month high of $125.00. The stock has a market cap of $7.11 billion, a PE ratio of 38.20 and a beta of 1.11. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $117.67 and its 200-day moving average is $115.04.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.91 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Ashland Inc. will post $6.81 EPS for the current year.
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 dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.32%.
ASH has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG cut Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Ashland has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $125.86.
In other news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total transaction of $60,318.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.
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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