Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $123.17 and last traded at $123.15, with a volume of 393,853 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $120.98.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on ASH shares. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on shares of Ashland in a research note on Thursday, March 24th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $118.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ashland from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ashland currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.63.

The company has a market capitalization of $7.59 billion and a PE ratio of 35.558. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $115.81 and its 200-day moving average is $107.00.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.74 by $0.09. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.03 EPS. The firm had revenue of $1.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.25 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ashland Inc. will post $7.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ashland news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,183 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.99, for a total transaction of $131,301.17. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 11,240 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,247,527.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total transaction of $60,318.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Ashland by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 96,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,905,000 after buying an additional 3,225 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Ashland by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 93,671 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,620,000 after buying an additional 9,316 shares during the last quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD boosted its position in Ashland by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 172,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,709,000 after buying an additional 9,892 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its position in Ashland by 30.6% in the fourth quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 26,970 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,769,000 after buying an additional 6,312 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Ashland by 279.1% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 438,704 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,056,000 after buying an additional 322,967 shares during the last quarter.

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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