Credit Suisse AG increased its position in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH – Free Report) by 2.4% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 46,386 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,077 shares during the quarter. Credit Suisse AG owned approximately 0.09% of Ashland worth $4,764,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ASH. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Ashland by 403.3% in the first quarter. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC now owns 545,203 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $55,998,000 after buying an additional 436,868 shares during the last quarter. Canoe Financial LP acquired a new position in shares of Ashland during the 1st quarter worth approximately $36,640,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Ashland in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $31,908,000. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ashland by 33.9% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,027,256 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,092,000 after purchasing an additional 259,926 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management SA lifted its position in Ashland by 229.5% during the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management SA now owns 355,540 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $36,518,000 after buying an additional 247,651 shares in the last quarter. 87.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Ashland Trading Up 1.9 %
ASH opened at $86.22 on Wednesday. Ashland Inc. has a 52 week low of $80.00 and a 52 week high of $114.36. The company has a quick ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 3.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $87.72 and a 200-day simple moving average of $93.20. The firm has a market cap of $4.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.98.
Ashland declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the basic materials company to purchase up to 21.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Ashland Dividend Announcement
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.385 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 31st. This represents a $1.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.79%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.16%.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
Several research analysts have recently commented on ASH shares. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their price target on Ashland from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 30th. Mizuho cut their price target on shares of Ashland from $129.00 to $114.00 in a report on Thursday, June 29th. BMO Capital Markets cut Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $109.00 to $90.00 in a report on Monday, June 26th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on Ashland from $145.00 to $142.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their price target on Ashland from $105.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $109.75.
Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients worldwide. 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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