Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH – Get Rating) Chief Financial Officer J Kevin Willis sold 4,235 shares of the company in a trade Thursday, June 2. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.58, for a total transaction of $447,131.30. As a result of the transaction, the CFO now directly owns 4,066 shares of the company, valued at approximately $429,288.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available via this hyperlink.

NYSE ASH traded down $1.15 on Friday, hitting $106.64. The company’s shares had a trading volume of 4,744 shares, compared to an average volume of 297,889. The company has a market capitalization of $5.82 billion, a PE ratio of 6.44 and a beta of 1, 14. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $102.30 and a 200-day moving average price of $100.25. Ashland Global Holdings Inc. has a 52-week low of $81.93 and a 52-week high of $111.05. The company has a current ratio of 2.50, a quick ratio of 1.79 and a debt ratio of 0.40.

Ashland Global (NYSE:ASH – Get Rating) last released its results on Tuesday, April 26. The basic materials company reported earnings per share of $1.50 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $1.36 by $0.14. The company posted revenue of $604.00 million for the quarter, compared to $603.89 million expected by analysts. Ashland Global had a net margin of 40.83% and a return on equity of 9.45%. During the same quarter of the previous year, the firm had posted earnings per share of $1.05. Analysts expect Ashland Global Holdings Inc. to post earnings per share of 5.12 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 15. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 1 will receive a dividend of $0.335. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 31. This represents a dividend of $1.34 on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. This is a boost from Ashland Global’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Ashland Global’s payout ratio is currently 8.11%.

Ashland Global announced that its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 25 that sees the company repurchase $500.00 million of outstanding stock. This repurchase authorization allows the basic materials company to acquire up to 8.7% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on ASH shares. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised its price target on Ashland Global shares from $120.00 to $122.00 in a Thursday, April 28 research report. StockNews.com began covering shares of Ashland Global in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They set a “holding” rating for the company. Stifel Nicolaus raised his price target on Ashland Global shares from $130.00 to $136.00 in a Thursday, Feb. 3 research report. TheStreet upgraded Ashland Global’s shares from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a Tuesday, April 26 research report. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised its price target on Ashland Global shares from $105.00 to $113.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a Monday, April 18 report. . Five equity research analysts gave the stock a hold rating and five gave the company a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $121.25.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently been buying and selling stocks. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Ashland Global by 16.9% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 215,775 shares of the basic materials company worth $18,880,000 after buying 31,248 more shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in Ashland Global by 16.6% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,367 shares of the basic materials company worth $478,000 after buying 763 additional shares in the last quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC purchased a new stake in Ashland Global during the third quarter worth approximately $392,000. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Ashland Global by 1.4% during the third quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 676,435 shares of the basic materials company worth $60,283,000 after purchasing an additional 9,068 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Ashland Global by 12.7% during the third quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,268 shares of the basic materials company worth $291,000 after buying 368 additional shares in the last quarter. 96.75% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ashland’s Global Company Profile (Get a rating)

Ashland Global Holdings Inc supplies additives and specialty ingredients worldwide. It operates through the life sciences; personal care and housekeeping; Specialty Additives; and the Intermediates and Solvents segments. The Life Sciences segment offers pharmaceutical solutions, including controlled release polymers, disintegrants, tablet coatings, thickeners, solubilizers and tablet binders; nutritional solutions, such as thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers and additives; and nutraceutical solutions including products for weight management, joint comfort, stomach and intestinal health, sports nutrition and general wellness, as well as custom formulation, custom treatment solutions and particle engineering.

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