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Ashland (ASH) to Hike Composites Products Prices in EMEA

Zacks Equity Research

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. ASH stated that it will hike prices for its portfolio of all composites products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by Euro 75 per metric ton. The price hike is effective from Apr 1, 2019, or as contracts permit.

Per Ashland, the hike is mainly driven by persistent increase in cost of key raw materials. Ashland intends to provide customer services with the utmost quality and performance. The company is also committed to continue reinvesting in its product line.

Shares of Ashland have gained 8.7% in a year’s time compared with the industry’s 4.5% rise.

Ashland expects adjusted earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $3.10-$3.40 for fiscal 2019.  

Adjusted EBITDA in the company’s Specialty Ingredients unit is forecast in the range $610-$635 million. For the Intermediates & Solvents business, adjusted EBITDA is projected in the range of $20-$30 million. Free cash flow for fiscal 2019 is expected around $175 million.

For second-quarter fiscal 2019, Ashland projects adjusted EPS from continuing operations in the range of 80-90 cents per share, assuming that effective tax rate is 15%.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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

A few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. KL, Ingevity Corporation NGVT and Materion Corporation MTRN, all currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kirkland has an expected earnings growth rate of 8.8% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 119.2% in the past year.

Ingevity has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.9% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 37.7% in a year’s time.

Materion has an expected earnings growth rate of 12.6% for 2019. Its shares have gained 6.4% in a year’s time.

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