Neuberger Berman Group LLC Has $190.25 Million Position in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH)

Neuberger Berman Group LLC lessened its stake in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) by 25.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,933,362 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 647,955 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC’s holdings in Ashland were worth $190,253,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Ashland by 1.7% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,775,929 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $191,197,000 after buying an additional 28,967 shares during the last quarter. Huntington National Bank raised its holdings in Ashland by 35.8% during the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 645 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $63,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in Ashland by 85.0% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 25,968 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,556,000 after buying an additional 11,932 shares during the last quarter. PFG Private Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ashland in the first quarter valued at about $113,000. Finally, Covestor Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Ashland in the fourth quarter valued at about $71,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.26% of the company’s stock.

Ashland Stock Performance

Shares of Ashland stock opened at $99.11 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $5.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.24 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a current ratio of 3.30, a quick ratio of 2.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. Ashland Inc. has a 12 month low of $83.29 and a 12 month high of $112.91. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $102.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $100.90.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.22. Ashland had a return on equity of 10.33% and a net margin of 38.83%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.22 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ashland Inc. will post 5.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ashland announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 25th that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the basic materials company to reacquire up to 8.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Ashland Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were issued a $0.335 dividend. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.35%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently 8.43%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of brokerages have weighed in on ASH. Mizuho increased their target price on shares of Ashland from $138.00 to $139.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. StockNews.com raised shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Ashland from $136.00 to $140.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th. UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Ashland from $127.00 to $131.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft dropped their price target on shares of Ashland from $122.00 to $120.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Ashland has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $123.33.

Ashland Profile

(Get Rating)

Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients worldwide. It operates through Life Sciences; Personal Care & Household; Specialty Additives; and Intermediates and Solvents segments. The Life Sciences segment offers pharmaceutical solutions, including controlled release polymers, disintegrants, tablet coatings, thickeners, solubilizers, and tablet binders; nutrition solutions, such as thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and additives; and nutraceutical solutions comprising products for weight management, joint comfort, stomach and intestinal health, sports nutrition, and general wellness, as well as custom formulation, toll processing, and particle engineering solutions.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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