Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. Cuts Holdings in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH)

Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. decreased its position in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) by 3.0% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 4,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 132 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc.’s holdings in Ashland were worth $401,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Eminence Capital LP increased its holdings in Ashland by 1.2% in the second quarter. Eminence Capital LP now owns 4,083,978 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $420,854,000 after buying an additional 48,800 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its holdings in Ashland by 3.4% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 2,043,155 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $210,547,000 after buying an additional 67,631 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in shares of Ashland by 6.6% during the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 1,637,176 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $168,712,000 after purchasing an additional 100,753 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ashland by 8.9% during the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,354,749 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $133,321,000 after purchasing an additional 111,135 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Ashland by 17.3% during the second quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,205,037 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,179,000 after purchasing an additional 177,781 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.21% of the company’s stock.

Ashland Stock Down 0.5 %

Shares of NYSE ASH opened at $109.41 on Tuesday. Ashland Inc. has a 12-month low of $83.29 and a 12-month high of $114.36. The stock has a market cap of $5.92 billion, a PE ratio of 6.75 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a current ratio of 3.20, a quick ratio of 2.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. The company has a 50-day moving average of $109.69 and a 200 day moving average of $104.25.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 7th. The basic materials company reported $1.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $631.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $636.10 million. Ashland had a net margin of 38.77% and a return on equity of 10.17%. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Ashland Inc. will post 6.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 1st will be issued a $0.335 dividend. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. Ashland’s payout ratio is 8.27%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. StockNews.com cut shares of Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Ashland from $131.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 11th. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Ashland from $136.00 to $141.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 12th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on shares of Ashland from $120.00 to $125.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on shares of Ashland from $104.00 to $118.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Ashland currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $130.29.

About Ashland

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Ashland, Inc engages in the provision of architectural coatings, construction, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, personal care, and pharmaceutical. It operates through the following segments: Life Sciences, Personal Care, Special Additives, and Intermediates. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Wilmington, DE.

Further Reading

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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