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Shares of Ashland (NYSE:ASH) were the target of a significant growth in short interest in August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 6,480,324 shares, a growth of 1,452.6% from the July 31st total of 417,393 shares, Analyst Ratings.Net reports. Based on an average trading volume of 1,428,285 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.5 days. Currently, 8.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other Ashland news, Director Michael J. Ward sold 12,912 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.64, for a total transaction of $1,389,847.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

A number of research firms have recently commented on ASH. Analysts at Argus raised their price target on shares of Ashland from $118.00 to $123.00 in a research note on Monday, August 18th. 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 research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Ashland presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $120.00.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) opened at 108.24 on Friday. 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 $105.6 and a 200-day moving average of $102.. The company has a market cap of $8.448 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.93.

Ashland (NYSE:ASH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 31st. The company reported $1.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 in the previous year, the company posted $1.66 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Ashland will post $6.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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