LPL Financial LLC raised its stake in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH – Free Report) by 7.8% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 10,746 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 773 shares during the quarter. LPL Financial LLC’s holdings in Ashland were worth $934,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Duality Advisers LP acquired a new position in shares of Ashland during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,472,000. Strs Ohio bought a new position in shares of Ashland during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,993,000. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH lifted its holdings in shares of Ashland by 29.1% during the 2nd quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 162,142 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $14,092,000 after purchasing an additional 36,510 shares in the last quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Ashland by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. now owns 241,047 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $20,949,000 after purchasing an additional 2,250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. lifted its holdings in shares of Ashland by 1,112.6% during the 2nd quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 229,469 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $19,943,000 after purchasing an additional 210,545 shares in the last quarter. 90.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Ashland Stock Up 0.6 %
NYSE:ASH opened at $76.90 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.52 and a beta of 0.97. Ashland Inc. has a twelve month low of $70.82 and a twelve month high of $114.36. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $78.33 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $84.40. The company has a quick ratio of 1.93, a current ratio of 3.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.
Ashland Announces Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.385 per share. This represents a $1.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. Ashland’s payout ratio is presently 47.09%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
Several research firms have recently weighed in on ASH. Mizuho cut their price objective on Ashland from $114.00 to $106.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on Ashland from $94.00 to $87.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 28th. TheStreet cut Ashland from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. UBS Group cut their target price on Ashland from $110.00 to $103.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, StockNews.com started coverage on Ashland in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $93.14.
Insider Buying and Selling
In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 7,866 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.54, for a total transaction of $680,723.64. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 11,583 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,002,392.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 8.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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