Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) by 2.7% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,162,647 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 30,368 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC owned approximately 1.87% of Ashland worth $134,809,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Ashland by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,760,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $546,398,000 after buying an additional 77,778 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Ashland by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 2,232,316 shares of the company’s stock worth $256,203,000 after buying an additional 85,205 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC raised its stake in Ashland by 1.2% in the third quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 2,145,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,717,000 after buying an additional 25,964 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Ashland by 0.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,897,399 shares of the company’s stock worth $217,764,000 after buying an additional 13,192 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential PLC raised its stake in Ashland by 1.9% in the second quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 690,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,214,000 after buying an additional 12,700 shares in the last quarter. 87.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 0.30% on Friday, reaching $115.12. 153,506 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s market capitalization is $7.14 billion. Ashland Inc. has a one year low of $88.30 and a one year high of $125.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $112.24 and its 200-day moving average price is $115.08.
Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.61 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.25 billion. Ashland had a negative net margin of 0.59% and a positive return on equity of 15.23%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.62 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Ashland Inc. will post $6.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently -260.00%.
ASH has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $119.00 price objective on shares of Ashland and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 7th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Ashland from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ashland has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $121.50.
In other news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 1,555 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.84, for a total transaction of $166,136.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.