Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Receives Average Rating of “Moderate Buy” from Brokerages

Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) has received an average recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from the twelve analysts that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and six have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $123.33.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. StockNews.com raised Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. UBS Group raised their price target on Ashland from $127.00 to $131.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered their price target on Ashland from $122.00 to $120.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Mizuho raised their price target on Ashland from $138.00 to $139.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on Ashland from $136.00 to $140.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th.

Ashland Stock Down 0.4 %

ASH stock opened at $98.73 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 2.20 and a current ratio of 3.30. The company has a market capitalization of $5.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.21 and a beta of 1.01. Ashland has a fifty-two week low of $83.29 and a fifty-two week high of $112.91. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $102.67 and a 200-day moving average of $101.12.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate 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 business posted $1.22 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Ashland will post 5.66 earnings per share for the current year.

Ashland announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 25th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to purchase up to 8.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Ashland Dividend Announcement

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.335 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently 8.43%.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Federated Hermes Inc. raised its stake in Ashland by 16.1% during the second quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 31,196 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,214,000 after buying an additional 4,329 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at $6,318,000. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at $254,000. ExodusPoint Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at $2,988,000. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its stake in Ashland by 3.4% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 2,043,155 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $210,547,000 after buying an additional 67,631 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.26% of the company’s stock.

About Ashland

(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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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