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Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Shares Sold by CI Investments Inc.

CI Investments Inc. lessened its stake in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) by 15.5% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,079 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 198 shares during the period. CI Investments Inc.’s holdings in Ashland were worth $106,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Eagle Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ashland by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 22,434 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,386,000 after acquiring an additional 131 shares in the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Ashland by 3.5% in the 1st quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 4,045 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $398,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ashland by 0.8% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 17,679 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,740,000 after buying an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management raised its position in shares of Ashland by 4.6% in the first quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 3,830 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 167 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank raised its position in shares of Ashland by 35.8% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 645 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $63,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. 93.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several research firms recently commented on ASH. UBS Group increased their price target on Ashland from $127.00 to $131.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Ashland from $136.00 to $140.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price objective on shares of Ashland from $113.00 to $107.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 18th. StockNews.com lowered shares of Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their price target on shares of Ashland from $122.00 to $120.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $123.75.

Ashland Trading Up 3.4 %

Shares of ASH stock opened at $102.62 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.46 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 2.20 and a current ratio of 3.30. Ashland Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $83.29 and a fifty-two week high of $112.91. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $102.84 and a 200 day moving average price of $100.55.

Ashland (NYSE:ASHGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.22. Ashland had a return on equity of 10.33% and a net margin of 38.83%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.22 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ashland Inc. will post 5.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ashland Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st will be paid a $0.335 dividend. This represents a $1.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is presently 8.43%.

Ashland announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 25th that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the basic materials company to reacquire up to 8.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Ashland Profile

(Get Rating)

Ashland Inc provides additives and specialty ingredients worldwide. It operates through Life Sciences; Personal Care & Household; Specialty Additives; and Intermediates and Solvents 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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