US Bancorp DE lowered its stake in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH – Free Report) by 26.7% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,648 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 600 shares during the quarter. US Bancorp DE’s holdings in Ashland were worth $169,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ASH. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board raised its stake in Ashland by 12.5% during the 1st quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 9,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $924,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Ashland by 3.7% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 122,612 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $13,184,000 after purchasing an additional 4,352 shares during the period. OLD Mission Capital LLC bought a new stake in Ashland during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $31,000. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in Ashland by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 139,670 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $15,019,000 after purchasing an additional 2,274 shares during the period. Finally, Treasurer of the State of North Carolina grew its holdings in Ashland by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 21,985 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,364,000 after buying an additional 280 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.08% of the company’s stock.
Ashland Price Performance
ASH opened at $87.62 on Thursday. The business has a fifty day moving average of $87.79 and a 200 day moving average of $93.16. 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 stock has a market cap of $4.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.00, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.98.
Ashland Announces Dividend
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.385 per share. This represents a $1.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 31st. Ashland’s payout ratio is currently 35.16%.
Ashland announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to purchase up to 21.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their price target on Ashland from $105.00 to $95.00 in a report on Thursday, June 29th. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Ashland in a report on Thursday, August 17th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Stifel Nicolaus cut their price target on Ashland from $145.00 to $142.00 in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price target on Ashland from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 30th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on Ashland from $94.00 to $87.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 28th. One investment 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. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $109.75.
Ashland Company Profile
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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