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Ashland (ASH) Hikes Dividend by 12%, Declares $500M Buyback

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Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (ASH - Free Report) announced a quarterly cash dividend of 33.5 cents per share on its common stock, indicating a 12% hike from the previous quarter’s figure. The dividend is payable on Jun 15, 2022, to stockholders of record at the close of business as of Jun 1, 2022.

There were 54,124,915 shares of Ashland common stock outstanding as of Apr 30, 2022. The company’s board authorized a new, evergreen $500-million common stock repurchase program, effective immediately. 

The new authorization discontinues and replaces Ashland’s 2018 $1-billion share buyback program. Per the new program, the company’s common shares may be repurchased in open market transactions, privately-negotiated transactions or pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 trading plans.

Shares of Ashland have increased 8.1% in the past year against a 20% fall of the industry.

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Ashland, in its last earnings call, stated that it continues to expect sales in the range of $2.25-$2.35 billion for fiscal 2022. It also anticipates adjusted EBITDA between $550 million and $570 million.

The company expects underlying demand to remain strong for its focused ingredients and additives product portfolio. It expects its pricing and mix improvement actions to cover the current inflation. The company is committed to taking further measures to recover any additional cost inflation. It will also continue to build inventories to mitigate the supply-chain and shipping headwinds.

 

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI - Free Report) , Nutrien Ltd. (NTR - Free Report) and Cabot Corporation (CBT - Free Report) .

Allegheny has a projected earnings growth rate of 869.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATI's current-year earnings has been revised 27.3% upward in the past 60 days.

Allegheny’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 128.9%, on average. ATI has gained around 6.5% in a year and currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Nutrien has a projected earnings growth rate of 161.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NTR’s current-year earnings has been revised 26.9% upward in the past 60 days.

Nutrien’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 5.8%. NTR has gained 59.5% in a year. The company flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

Cabot, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has an expected earnings growth rate of 21.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CBT's earnings for the current year has been revised 5.2% upward in the past 60 days.

Cabot’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 16.2%. CBT has gained around 11.6% over a year.