Short Interest in Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Grows By 24.0%

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) was the target of a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,500,000 shares, an increase of 24.0% from the May 15th total of 1,210,000 shares. Approximately 2.8% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 445,700 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.4 days.

ASH has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded Ashland Global from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 26th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their target price on shares of Ashland Global from $120.00 to $122.00 in a report on Thursday, April 28th. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Ashland Global in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price objective on shares of Ashland Global from $105.00 to $113.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Finally, Mizuho upped their target price on Ashland Global from $129.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $122.71.

Shares of NYSE ASH opened at $94.81 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $5.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 5.74 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 1.79 and a current ratio of 2.50. Ashland Global has a 1 year low of $81.93 and a 1 year high of $112.91. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $103.26 and its 200 day moving average price is $100.06.

Ashland Global (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.14. Ashland Global had a return on equity of 9.45% and a net margin of 40.83%. The business had revenue of $604.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $603.89 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.05 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Ashland Global will post 5.12 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 1st were paid a dividend of $0.335 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 31st. This represents a $1.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.41%. This is an increase from Ashland Global’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Ashland Global’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.11%.

Ashland Global declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the basic materials company to buy up to 8.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 4,235 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.58, for a total value of $447,131.30. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 4,066 shares in the company, valued at $429,288.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Eric N. Boni sold 2,657 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.50, for a total transaction of $290,941.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,640 shares in the company, valued at $1,165,080. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 7.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ASH. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in shares of Ashland Global by 0.7% in the 4th quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 14,500 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,561,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Arrow Financial Corp raised its position in shares of Ashland Global by 13.8% in the 4th quarter. Arrow Financial Corp now owns 941 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 114 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC boosted its holdings in Ashland Global by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 9,342 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,006,000 after acquiring an additional 118 shares during the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Ashland Global by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 22,434 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,386,000 after acquiring an additional 131 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ashland Global by 3.5% in the 1st quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 4,045 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $398,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares during the period. 96.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Ashland Global (Get Rating)

Ashland Global Holdings Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients worldwide. It operates through Life Sciences; Personal Care & Household; Specialty Additives; and Intermediates and Solvents 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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