Ashland (NYSE:ASH – Get Free Report) was downgraded by equities research analysts at StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
Several other research firms also recently weighed in on ASH. TheStreet downgraded Ashland from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on Ashland from $94.00 to $87.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 28th. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price target on Ashland from $84.00 to $75.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. UBS Group dropped their price target on Ashland from $110.00 to $103.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on Ashland from $110.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $93.14.
Ashland Price Performance
Ashland (NYSE:ASH – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The basic materials company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $518.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $528.57 million. Ashland had a return on equity of 6.78% and a net margin of 8.07%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 17.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.46 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Ashland will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Insider Activity at Ashland
In other Ashland news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 7,866 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 11,583 shares in the company, valued at $1,002,392.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 8.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional Inflows and Outflows
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ASH. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Ashland by 10.9% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 375,498 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $30,671,000 after acquiring an additional 36,766 shares during the last quarter. Integrated Wealth Concepts LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ashland during the third quarter worth about $208,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Ashland by 21.1% during the third quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 44,340 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,622,000 after acquiring an additional 7,715 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in shares of Ashland by 1.5% during the third quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 28,278 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,310,000 after acquiring an additional 407 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of Ashland by 17.7% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 127,496 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $10,414,000 after acquiring an additional 19,148 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.08% of the company’s stock.
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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