Today: Deutsche Bank AG Initiates Coverage on Ashland Inc. (ASH)

Today: Deutsche Bank AG Initiates Coverage on Ashland Inc. (ASH)

Analysts at Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) in a report released on Monday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 8.58% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $129.00 price target (down previously from $140.00) on shares of Ashland in a research report on Wednesday, November 23rd. TheStreet downgraded 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 price target on Ashland and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 7th. One research 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. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $123.33.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) traded down 1.12% on Monday, hitting $113.83. The stock had a trading volume of 515,228 shares. Ashland has a 12-month low of $88.30 and a 12-month high of $125.00. The company’s 50 day moving average is $112.24 and its 200 day moving average is $115.08. The firm’s market cap is $7.06 billion.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.09. Ashland had a negative net margin of 0.59% and a positive return on equity of 15.23%. The firm had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.25 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.62 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ashland will post $6.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 1.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Ashland by 3.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,999 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,319,000 after buying an additional 389 shares during the period. Strs Ohio boosted its position in Ashland by 1.7% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 103,914 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,926,000 after buying an additional 1,702 shares during the period. Cullinan Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Ashland during the third quarter valued at approximately $879,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at approximately $271,000. Finally, DAVENPORT & Co LLC acquired a new position in Ashland during the second quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.17% of the company’s stock.

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