Investors Purchase High Volume of Ashland Global Call Options (ASH)

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Ashland Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:ASH) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 5,086 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 4,886% compared to the typical daily volume of 102 call options.

ASH has been the topic of several research reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $95.00 target price on Ashland Global and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, November 4th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Ashland Global from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ashland Global from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $91.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, November 12th. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on Ashland Global from $96.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Buckingham Research began coverage on Ashland Global in a research note on Monday, December 17th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. Ashland Global presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $89.80.

ASH stock opened at $79.49 on Thursday. Ashland Global has a 1 year low of $64.81 and a 1 year high of $86.63. The stock has a market cap of $4.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.20, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 2.20 and a quick ratio of 1.51.

Ashland Global (NYSE:ASH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The basic materials company reported $0.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $576.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $585.78 million. Ashland Global had a net margin of 2.01% and a return on equity of 6.17%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.03 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Ashland Global will post 3.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 28th. Ashland Global’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.93%.

In other Ashland Global news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 2,455 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.94, for a total transaction of $198,707.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 17,114 shares in the company, valued at $1,385,207.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Keith C. Silverman sold 498 shares of Ashland Global stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.67, for a total transaction of $40,671.66. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 3,380 shares in the company, valued at $276,044.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 15,067 shares of company stock worth $1,224,405. Corporate insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. American International Group Inc. grew its position in Ashland Global by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 127,363 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $9,038,000 after acquiring an additional 466 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Ashland Global by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 614,506 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $43,605,000 after buying an additional 39,045 shares in the last quarter. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Ashland Global in the 4th quarter worth approximately $83,000. Brown Advisory Inc. raised its stake in Ashland Global by 7.1% during the 4th quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 3,626 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $257,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gideon Capital Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ashland Global in the 4th quarter worth $275,000. 95.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Ashland Global

Ashland Global Holdings Inc provides specialty chemical solutions worldwide. The company's Specialty Ingredients segment offers products, technologies, and resources for solving formulation and product-performance challenges. It provides solutions using natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic polymers derived from cellulose ethers, vinyl pyrrolidones, acrylic polymers, polyester and polyurethane-based adhesives, and plant and seed extracts.

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