Parthenon LLC continued to hold its position in shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,839 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Parthenon LLC’s holdings in Ashland were worth $211,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ASH. Creative Planning raised its position in shares of Ashland by 87.4% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 465 shares during the period. Northstar Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter valued at about $200,000. DAVENPORT & Co LLC acquired a new stake in Ashland during the second quarter valued at about $208,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in Ashland by 1.4% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,239 shares of the company’s stock valued at $246,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pegasus Partners Ltd. acquired a new stake in Ashland during the first quarter valued at about $263,000. 86.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) traded up 0.15% on Wednesday, hitting $123.30. 1,484,944 shares of the stock traded hands. Ashland Inc. has a 12-month low of $88.30 and a 12-month high of $125.00. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $116.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $113.72. The stock has a market cap of $7.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.14 and a beta of 1.22.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.95 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.04 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. Ashland had a return on equity of 15.90% and a net margin of 3.86%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.91 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Ashland Inc. will post $6.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. Ashland’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.32%.

ASH has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ashland from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Ashland from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $122.00 to $119.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ashland in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.75.

In related news, VP Anne T. Schumann sold 496 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.61, for a total transaction of $60,318.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.

Ashland 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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