Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Shares Purchased by BNP Paribas Financial Markets

BNP Paribas Financial Markets boosted its stake in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHFree Report) by 19.1% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,632 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,383 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Financial Markets’ holdings in Ashland were worth $728,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Global Retirement Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland in the 4th quarter valued at $28,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Ashland by 143.9% during the fourth quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd grew its stake in shares of Ashland by 338.0% during the third quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 403 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $33,000 after acquiring an additional 311 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC grew its stake in shares of Ashland by 163.7% during the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 559 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $47,000 after acquiring an additional 347 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arlington Trust Co LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ashland during the fourth quarter valued at about $67,000. 93.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several analysts have recently weighed in on ASH shares. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Ashland from $97.00 to $105.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. UBS Group raised their target price on Ashland from $114.00 to $116.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Ashland from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $100.00 to $112.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Ashland in a research report on Friday, March 1st. They set an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $100.00 to $126.00 in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Ashland presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $106.44.

Check Out Our Latest Analysis on Ashland

Ashland Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE ASH opened at $100.18 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 3.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $97.00 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $90.06. Ashland Inc. has a 52-week low of $70.82 and a 52-week high of $100.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.57, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 0.92.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.13. Ashland had a net margin of 9.09% and a return on equity of 5.57%. The firm had revenue of $575.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $574.64 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.43 earnings per share. Ashland’s revenue was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Ashland Inc. will post 4.47 earnings per share for the current year.

Ashland Increases Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Saturday, June 1st will be paid a $0.405 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.62%. This is a positive change from Ashland’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.85%.

About Ashland

(Free Report)

Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients in the North and Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and internationally. 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.

Further Reading

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ashland (NYSE:ASH)

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