BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Ashland Global (NYSE:ASH) in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $82.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock.
Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Ashland Global to $83.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Longbow Research upgraded Ashland Global from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Ashland Global in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Seaport Global Securities restated a buy rating and issued a $81.00 price target on shares of Ashland Global in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ashland Global from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ashland Global currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $83.44.
NYSE ASH opened at $69.79 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 1.29 and a current ratio of 1.96. Ashland Global has a 12-month low of $59.80 and a 12-month high of $77.16. The company has a market cap of $4,342.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 1.11.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st were issued a $0.225 dividend. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.29%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. Ashland Global’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.89%.
Ashland Global announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, March 20th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Anne T. Schumann sold 11,733 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.26, for a total value of $859,559.58. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider William J. Heitman sold 4,495 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.31, for a total value of $316,043.45. Following the sale, the insider now owns 15,152 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,065,337.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 26,413 shares of company stock worth $1,918,021. Insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ASH. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its holdings in Ashland Global by 600.3% during the 3rd quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 2,332 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,999 shares during the last quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc acquired a new stake in Ashland Global during the 4th quarter valued at $157,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Ashland Global during the 4th quarter valued at $203,000. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc acquired a new stake in Ashland Global during the 3rd quarter valued at $234,000. Finally, Good Life Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland Global during the 4th quarter valued at $234,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.57% of the company’s stock.
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Ashland Global Company Profile
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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