Westpac Banking Corp Has $390,000 Stake in Ashland Inc. (ASH)
Westpac Banking Corp increased its stake in Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 31.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 3,395 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 820 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Ashland were worth $390,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Creative Planning raised its position in Ashland by 87.4% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 465 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Ashland by 104.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 509 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its position in Ashland by 200.0% in the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 1,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Northstar Group Inc. bought a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at about $200,000. Finally, DAVENPORT & Co LLC bought a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at about $208,000. Institutional investors own 86.88% of the company’s stock.
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded down 0.92% on Friday, hitting $116.82. The stock had a trading volume of 67,398 shares. Ashland Inc. has a 1-year low of $88.30 and a 1-year high of $125.00. The company has a market cap of $7.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.98 and a beta of 1.11. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $117.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $114.83.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. The company earned $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. Ashland had a return on equity of 15.90% and a net margin of 3.86%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.91 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ashland Inc. will post $6.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.32%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.32%.
Several research firms have recently issued reports on ASH. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $125.75.
In related news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total value of $60,318.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 1.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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