Headlines about Ashland (NYSE:ASH) have trended somewhat positive on Monday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million news and blog sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Ashland earned a daily sentiment score of 0.10 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned headlines about the basic materials company an impact score of 45.2711160899885 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the next several days.
These are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern’s scoring:
- UPDATED: Fire at Ashland Lumber Company displaces three (wickedlocal.com)
- One injured in Ashland County crash (mansfieldnewsjournal.com)
- Monomoy Girl rolls in Ashland, looks to be key contender in 2018 Kentucky Oaks (courier-journal.com)
- Monomoy Girl Romps as 1-5 Favorite in Central Bank Ashland (lex18.com)
ASH opened at $68.60 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $4,268.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 1.96 and a quick ratio of 1.29. Ashland has a one year low of $59.80 and a one year high of $77.16.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.31%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. Ashland’s payout ratio is 36.89%.
Ashland declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, March 20th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the basic materials company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on ASH. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $81.00 target price on shares of Ashland in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Longbow Research raised Ashland from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group raised Ashland from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $68.18 to $79.00 in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. Finally, Monness Crespi & Hardt lowered Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ashland currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $83.44.
In other Ashland news, VP Keith C. Silverman sold 1,678 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.02, for a total transaction of $117,493.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 1,358 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $95,087.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Anne T. Schumann sold 8,507 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.46, for a total value of $624,924.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 26,413 shares of company stock valued at $1,918,021 in the last ninety days. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Ashland Global Holdings Inc provides specialty chemical solutions worldwide. Its Specialty Ingredients segment provides products, technologies, and resources for solving formulation and product-performance challenges. It offers solutions using natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic polymers derived from plant and seed extract, cellulose ethers, vinyl pyrrolidones, and acrylic polymers, as well as polyester and polyurethane-based adhesives.
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