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Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) were the target of a large decrease in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 417,393 shares, a decrease of 42.3% from the July 15th total of 723,551 shares, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. Currently, 0.5% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 595,918 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 0.7 days.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on ASH shares. Analysts at Argus raised their price target on shares of Ashland from $118.00 to $123.00 in a research note on Monday. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Ashland in a research note on Monday, August 11th. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Ashland in a research note on Thursday, July 24th. They set a “conviction-buy” rating on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ashland has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $120.00.

Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 106.45 on Wednesday. Ashland has a 52 week low of $84.43 and a 52 week high of $110.02. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $105.8 and a 200-day moving average of $101.0. The company has a market cap of $8.309 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.69.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 31st. The company reported $1.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.66 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Ashland will post $6.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.28%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 13th.

Ashland Inc (NYSE:ASH) is a global specialty chemical company that provides products, services and solutions throughout a variety of industries.

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