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

StockNews.com downgraded shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASHFree Report) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

ASH has been the topic of a number of other research reports. TheStreet raised shares of Ashland from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Ashland from $88.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Ashland from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $100.00 to $126.00 in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Ashland from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the company from $100.00 to $112.00 in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Ashland from $97.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus price target of $106.44.

View Our Latest Report on Ashland

Ashland Stock Performance

Shares of ASH stock opened at $99.40 on Tuesday. Ashland has a one year low of $70.82 and a one year high of $100.99. The company’s 50-day moving average is $96.46 and its 200 day moving average is $88.89. The company has a market capitalization of $4.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 1.94 and a current ratio of 3.15.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.13. Ashland had a net margin of 9.09% and a return on equity of 5.57%. The company had revenue of $575.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $574.64 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.43 EPS. Ashland’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Ashland will post 4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Saturday, June 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.405 per share. This is a boost from Ashland’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.63%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.85%.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. GAMMA Investing LLC boosted its stake in Ashland by 122.4% during the first quarter. GAMMA Investing LLC now owns 278 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $27,000 after buying an additional 153 shares during the period. Global Retirement Partners LLC purchased a new position in Ashland during the fourth quarter worth $28,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Ashland by 143.9% during the fourth quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after buying an additional 223 shares during the period. Covestor Ltd boosted its stake in Ashland by 338.0% during the third quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 403 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $33,000 after buying an additional 311 shares during the period. Finally, Allworth Financial LP boosted its stake in Ashland by 43.1% during the third quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $46,000 after buying an additional 169 shares during the period. 93.95% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ashland Company Profile

(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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Analyst Recommendations for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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