Ashland (NYSE:ASH) Sets New 12-Month High at $99.74

Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report)’s stock price reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $99.74 and last traded at $99.72, with a volume of 134086 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $98.62.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Ashland from $114.00 to $116.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Ashland from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $100.00 to $112.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. StockNews.com upgraded Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $100.00 to $126.00 in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Ashland from $88.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $106.44.

Read Our Latest Research Report on ASH

Ashland Stock Up 1.5 %

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 1.94 and a current ratio of 3.15. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $96.31 and a 200 day moving average price of $88.48. The company has a market cap of $5.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.54, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 0.92.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $575.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $574.64 million. Ashland had a return on equity of 5.57% and a net margin of 9.09%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.43 EPS. Research analysts expect that Ashland Inc. will post 4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, June 1st will be given a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This is a positive change from Ashland’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.62%. Ashland’s payout ratio is 40.85%.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Ashland

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in Ashland by 17.4% during the third quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,592 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 682 shares during the period. Raymond James & Associates grew its stake in Ashland by 4.7% in the third quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 6,576 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $537,000 after purchasing an additional 294 shares in the last quarter. Allworth Financial LP grew its stake in Ashland by 43.1% in the third quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 169 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas grew its stake in Ashland by 21.1% in the third quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 15,198 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,241,000 after purchasing an additional 2,652 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in Ashland by 3.4% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 188,767 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $15,418,000 after purchasing an additional 6,246 shares in the last quarter. 93.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ashland

(Get 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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