Investors Buy High Volume of Call Options on Ashland Global (ASH)

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ASH) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders bought 11,834 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 6,986% compared to the average volume of 167 call options.

Shares of Ashland Global (NYSE ASH) opened at $72.97 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.97, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76. Ashland Global has a 1-year low of $54.63 and a 1-year high of $74.81. The firm has a market cap of $4,510.00, a P/E ratio of -43.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 1.11.

Ashland Global (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The basic materials company reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $880.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $869.62 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.52 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Ashland Global will post 3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,352 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.23, for a total transaction of $89,542.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Peter Ganz sold 3,379 shares of Ashland Global stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.63, for a total transaction of $238,658.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 36,582 shares of company stock worth $2,633,323 over the last three months. 1.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC raised its holdings in shares of Ashland Global by 11.8% in the third quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 1,748,825 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $114,356,000 after purchasing an additional 185,176 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Ashland Global by 2.2% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,493,021 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $98,405,000 after buying an additional 32,649 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its position in Ashland Global by 30.7% during the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,463,395 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $95,999,000 after purchasing an additional 344,160 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its position in Ashland Global by 1.3% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,354,447 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $88,567,000 after purchasing an additional 17,839 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Ashland Global by 4.6% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,157,066 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $75,662,000 after purchasing an additional 51,277 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.77% of the company’s stock.

ASH has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective (up previously from $74.00) on shares of Ashland Global in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Ashland Global in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Ashland Global from $74.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ashland Global from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Finally, UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Ashland Global from $74.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $82.57.

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Ashland Global Company Profile

Ashland Inc is engaged in specialty chemicals, and through Valvoline, is a consumer-branded lubricant supplier. The Company operates in three segments: Ashland Specialty Ingredients (Specialty Ingredients), Ashland Performance Materials (Performance Materials) and Valvoline. Its Specialty Ingredients segment is engaged in providing cellulose ethers, vinyl pyrrolidones and biofunctionals, and consists of two divisions: Consumer Specialties and Industrial Specialties.

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