Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Short Interest Update

Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) was the target of a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 741,600 shares, an increase of 5.7% from the May 15th total of 701,600 shares. Approximately 1.5% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 327,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.3 days.

Ashland Stock Performance

Shares of ASH traded up $0.93 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $97.59. 457,037 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 356,598. Ashland has a 1-year low of $70.82 and a 1-year high of $102.50. The stock has a market cap of $4.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 0.92. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $97.57 and its 200 day moving average is $91.97. 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 issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.13. Ashland had a return on equity of 5.57% and a net margin of 9.09%. The firm had revenue of $575.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $574.64 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.43 earnings per share. Ashland’s quarterly revenue was down 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ashland will post 4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Increases Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, June 15th. Investors of record on Saturday, June 1st were given a $0.405 dividend. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 31st. This is a positive change from Ashland’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is 42.97%.

Institutional Trading of Ashland

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ASH. GAMMA Investing LLC increased its holdings in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC bought a new position in Ashland in the 4th quarter valued at $28,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Ashland by 143.9% in the fourth quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd increased its stake in shares of Ashland by 338.0% in the third quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 403 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 311 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CWM LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ashland by 163.7% in the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 559 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $47,000 after buying an additional 347 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.95% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Ratings Changes

ASH has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. StockNews.com downgraded Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st. TheStreet raised shares of Ashland from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Ashland from $97.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. UBS Group upped their target price on Ashland from $114.00 to $116.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of Ashland from $88.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $106.44.

Get Our Latest Analysis on ASH

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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