Ashland Global Target of Unusually High Options Trading (ASH)

Ashland Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:ASH) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Investors bought 1,424 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,465% compared to the average daily volume of 91 put options.

Ashland Global stock opened at $74.22 on Friday. Ashland Global has a 1 year low of $64.81 and a 1 year high of $86.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.73, a P/E/G ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 1.59.

Ashland Global (NYSE:ASH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The basic materials company reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97. Ashland Global had a net margin of 3.05% and a return on equity of 6.71%. The firm had revenue of $956.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $926.50 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.78 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Ashland Global will post 3.21 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, December 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd were paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 30th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.35%. Ashland Global’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.93%.

In related news, CFO J Kevin Willis sold 2,455 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.94, for a total value of $198,707.70. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 17,114 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,385,207.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Keith C. Silverman sold 498 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $276,044.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,067 shares of company stock valued at $1,224,405 over the last ninety days. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in Ashland Global in the 3rd quarter valued at $138,000. Brown Advisory Inc. purchased a new position in Ashland Global in the 2nd quarter valued at $200,000. Creative Planning purchased a new position in Ashland Global in the 3rd quarter valued at $206,000. Commerce Bank purchased a new position in Ashland Global in the 3rd quarter valued at $209,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Ashland Global in the 2nd quarter valued at $221,000. 92.96% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on ASH shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ashland Global from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Ashland Global from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $68.23 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, December 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $95.00 price target on shares of Ashland Global and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Ashland Global from $93.00 to $96.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on shares of Ashland Global from $100.00 to $90.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $89.62.

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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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