Ashland Global Holdings Inc. ASH recorded profits from continuing operations of $51 million or 93 cents per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 (ending Jun 30, 2022), down from $72 million or $1.17 in the prior-year quarter.
Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings came in at $1.89 per share, up from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 98 cents. It topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.88.
Sales rose around 19% year over year to $644 million, and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $643.9 million. The top line was driven mainly by disciplined pricing actions leading to a recovery in costs in a high-inflation environment as well as better product mix. The company witnessed a double-digit year over year sales growth across its segments in the quarter. It benefited from strong demand across its end markets.
Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Ashland Global Holdings Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Quote
Life Sciences: Sales in the segment were up 18% year over year to $228 million in the reported quarter, aided by double-digit growth to pharmaceutical customers reflecting better product mix and cost recovery.
Personal Care: Sales in the division rose 17% year over year to $172 million. Sales were driven by higher demand across core personal-care end markets, disciplined pricing and the Schulke & Mayr acquisition.
Specialty Additives: Sales in the segment increased 15% year over year to $194 million, led by broad-based pricing and mix improvements and strong demand.
Intermediates: Sales in the segment went up 49% year over year to $73 million, led by higher prices in all product lines and improved mix.
Cash and cash equivalents were $629 million at the end of the quarter, up around 140% year over year. Long-term debt was $1,302 million, down around 17% year over year.
Ashland expects sales in the range of $2.35-$2.4 billion for fiscal 2022, representing around 13% year-over-year growth at the mid-point. It also anticipates adjusted EBITDA between $580 million and $590 million, representing around 18% year-over-year growth at the mid-point.
The company noted that it sees underlying demand to remain strong for its focused ingredients and additives product portfolio in the near term. It also expects its pricing and mix improvement actions to cover the current inflation.
Shares of Ashland have gained 21.8% in the past year compared with a 19.4% decline of the industry.
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Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Cabot Corporation CBT, ATI Inc. ATI and Albemarle Corporation ALB.
Cabot, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 22.5% for the current fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CBT's earnings for the current fiscal has been revised 0.8% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Cabot’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 16.2%. CBT has gained around 30% over a year.
ATI, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 1,069.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATI's current-year earnings has been revised 12.5% upward in the past 60 days.
ATI’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 128.9%, on average. ATI shares are up around 15% in a year.
Albemarle has a projected earnings growth rate of 241.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB’s current-year earnings has been revised 18% upward in the past 60 days.
Albemarle’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 20%. ALB has gained roughly 19% in a year. The company flaunts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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