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Ashland to Hike Maleic Anhydride Prices in North America

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Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (ASH - Free Report) is set to hike the prices of maleic anhydride sold in North America up to 6 cents per pound. The price hike will be effective Jun 7, 2018 or as contracts permit.

Ashland stated that the move is driven by limited supplies and high demand for maleic anhydride as well as raw material cost inflation. The company continues to ensure that its customers are provided with reliable delivery of maleic anhydride along with highest quality materials and services.

The stock has moved up 12.7% over the past three months, outperforming the industry’s 4.2% rise.

Ashland reported net profit of $73 million or $1.15 per share in second-quarter fiscal 2018 compared with net income of $92 million or $1.47. Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings came in at $1.06 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 84 cents.

The company raised its adjusted earnings guidance for fiscal 2018 to $3.30-$3.50 per share from $2.90-$3.10 it expected earlier. It expects to generate free cash flows of more than $220 million in fiscal 2018, which remains unchanged from the prior guidance.

Ashland projects adjusted earnings in the range of 95 cents to $1.05 per share for third-quarter fiscal 2018.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) , Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK - Free Report) and Huntsman Corporation (HUN - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Chemours has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15.5%. Its shares have gained 19.1% in a year.

Westlake Chemical has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12.2%. Its shares have rallied 89.1% in a year.

Huntsman has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3%. Its shares have moved up 30.4% in a year.

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