Ashland (NYSE:ASH) Downgraded to “Hold” at StockNews.com

StockNews.com cut shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.

ASH has been the subject of several other research reports. Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Ashland from $136.00 to $141.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, January 12th. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their price objective on shares of Ashland from $104.00 to $118.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, November 9th. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Ashland from $131.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 11th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on Ashland from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price objective on shares of Ashland from $120.00 to $125.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus target price of $130.29.

Ashland Price Performance

Shares of ASH stock opened at $109.41 on Monday. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $109.69 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $104.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.06 and a current ratio of 3.20. The stock has a market cap of $5.92 billion, a PE ratio of 6.75 and a beta of 0.99. Ashland has a 52-week low of $83.29 and a 52-week high of $114.36.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 7th. The basic materials company reported $1.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $631.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $636.10 million. Ashland had a net margin of 38.77% and a return on equity of 10.17%. As a group, analysts forecast that Ashland will post 6.14 EPS for the current year.

Ashland Announces Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.335 per share. This represents a $1.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.22%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.27%.

Institutional Trading of Ashland

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Ashland by 9.8% during the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 3,668 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $361,000 after buying an additional 326 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in Ashland by 17.4% in the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $681,000 after acquiring an additional 1,025 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Ashland by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,523 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $543,000 after purchasing an additional 221 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ashland by 3.2% during the first quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 8,142 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $801,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the last quarter. Finally, MetLife Investment Management LLC raised its position in Ashland by 25.0% in the 1st quarter. MetLife Investment Management LLC now owns 34,207 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,366,000 after buying an additional 6,835 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.21% of the company’s stock.

About Ashland

(Get Rating)

Ashland, Inc engages in the provision of architectural coatings, construction, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, personal care, and pharmaceutical. It operates through the following segments: Life Sciences, Personal Care, Special Additives, and Intermediates. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Wilmington, DE.

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Analyst Recommendations for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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