Today, Jefferies Group Comments on Ashland Inc.’s Q1 2017 Earnings (ASH)

Today, Jefferies Group Comments on Ashland Inc.’s Q1 2017 Earnings (ASH)
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) – Research analysts at Jefferies Group issued their Q1 2017 earnings estimates for Ashland in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander forecasts that the firm will post earnings per share of $1.08 for the quarter. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $129.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Ashland’s Q2 2017 earnings at $1.64 EPS, Q3 2017 earnings at $1.79 EPS, Q4 2017 earnings at $1.59 EPS and FY2017 earnings at $6.10 EPS.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.61 by $0.09. Ashland had a positive return on equity of 15.23% and a negative net margin of 0.59%. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.25 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.62 earnings per share.

Several other research analysts have also commented on ASH. TheStreet lowered Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $119.00 target price on Ashland and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ashland currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $121.50.

Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 114.77 on Thursday. Ashland has a 52-week low of $88.30 and a 52-week high of $125.00. The firm’s market capitalization is $7.12 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $112.42 and its 200-day moving average price is $115.05.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently -260.00%.

In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,555 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.84, for a total value of $166,136.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ASH. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Ashland by 0.3% in the third quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 3,815 shares of the company’s stock valued at $443,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Ashland by 0.7% in the second quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. now owns 6,196 shares of the company’s stock valued at $699,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Ashland by 3.0% in the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 2,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $237,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ashland by 6.4% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 76 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in shares of Ashland by 1.3% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 6,249 shares of the company’s stock valued at $717,000 after buying an additional 80 shares in the last quarter. 87.04% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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