Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Shares Bought by Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA

Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHFree Report) by 33.0% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,260,333 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 560,916 shares during the quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA owned about 4.41% of Ashland worth $184,624,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ashland by 1.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,687,270 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $407,371,000 after purchasing an additional 53,087 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Ashland by 3.9% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,440,782 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $212,130,000 after purchasing an additional 91,914 shares during the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ashland by 14.6% in the third quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,953,015 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $159,522,000 after acquiring an additional 248,591 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Ashland by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,800,326 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $184,911,000 after buying an additional 11,482 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Ashland by 8.5% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,453,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $126,315,000 after purchasing an additional 113,628 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.08% of the company’s stock.

Ashland Price Performance

Shares of NYSE:ASH opened at $90.39 on Wednesday. Ashland Inc. has a one year low of $70.82 and a one year high of $108.48. The stock has a market cap of $4.53 billion, a PE ratio of 29.64 and a beta of 0.93. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $83.21 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $82.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a current ratio of 3.30.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The basic materials company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.24. Ashland had a return on equity of 5.95% and a net margin of 7.62%. The company had revenue of $473.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $478.69 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.97 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Ashland Inc. will post 4.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Announces Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a $0.385 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 29th. This represents a $1.54 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.49%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on ASH. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on Ashland from $70.00 to $88.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. UBS Group decreased their price target on Ashland from $110.00 to $103.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their price objective on Ashland from $110.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their target price on Ashland from $80.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on Ashland from $84.00 to $75.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $94.71.

View Our Latest Analysis on Ashland

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, insider Eric N. Boni sold 843 shares of Ashland stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.38, for a total value of $69,446.34. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 13,072 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,076,871.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.69% of the company’s stock.

Ashland Profile

(Free Report)

Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients in the North and Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and internationally. It operates through Life Sciences, Personal Care, Specialty Additives, and Intermediates 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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