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Specialty chemicals maker Ashland Inc. (ASH - Snapshot Report) has declared the redemption of the remaining 12% of its outstanding 9.125% Senior Notes due 2017 on June 1, 2013. With this, Ashland has completed the redemption of all of its remaining outstanding 9.125% Senior Notes .

In July last year, Ashland had offered a cash tender for any and its entire outstanding $650 million aggregate principal amount of the Senior Notes due 2017. At that time, roughly 88% or $572 million aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Senior Notes were tendered. The remaining 12% or around $78 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding Notes are now been redeemed.

The Senior Notes holders were paid $1,045.63 per $1,000.00 aggregate principal amount of the Notes along with accrued and unpaid interest up to, but not including, the redemption date.

Ashland makes nickel and cobalt-based alloys in sheet coil and plate forms. Its Consumer Markets segment markets Valvoline, world’s first lubricating oil. It also operates the Valvoline Instant Oil Change, the nation’s second-largest franchised quick-lube chain. Ashland offers specialty chemicals to more than 100 countries.

Last month, Ashland reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 (ended Mar 31, 2013) adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) from continuing operations of $1.78 per share, outshining the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.56 a share.

Profits from continuing operations, as reported, fell roughly 39% year over year to $55 million or 68 cents a share. Revenues fell 5% year over year to $1,974 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,057 million. Ashland was challenged by weakness prevailing in a number of key regions, namely Europe. It witnessed lower sales across each of its business segments in the quarter on lower demand.
Ashland currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry that are worth considering include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. , Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) and Methanex Corp. (MEOH - Analyst Report). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

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