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Earnings Review and Free Research Report: Ashland’s Revenue Grew 10.1%; Adjusted EPS Gained 6.4%

Research Desk Line-up: FutureFuel Post Earnings Coverage

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / August 17, 2017 / Pro-Trader Daily has just published a free post-earnings coverage on Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH), which can be viewed by registering at http://protraderdaily.com/optin/?symbol=ASH, following the Company's reporting of its third quarter fiscal 2017 operating results on August 01, 2017. The basic materials Company outperformed top- and bottom-line expectations. Our daily stock reports are accessible for free, and with those to look forward today you also will be signing up for a complimentary member's account at:

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Get more of our free earnings reports coverage from other constituents of the Chemicals - Major Diversified industry. Pro-TD has currently selected FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE: FF) for due-diligence and potential coverage as the Company announced on August 09, 2017, its financial results for Q2 and six-month 2017 which ended on June 30, 2017. Register for a free membership today, and be among the early birds that get access to our report on FutureFuel when we publish it.

At Pro-TD, we make it our mission to bring you news that matter about the stock you follow. Today, our research desk covers a blog story on ASH; also brushing on FF. With the links below you can directly download the report of your stock of interest free of charge at:

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Earnings Reviewed

For the quarter ended June 30, 2017, Ashland reported a loss from continuing operations of $16 million on sales of $870 million. For Q3 FY16, the Company reported earnings from continuing operations of $24 million on sales of $790 million.

On an adjusted basis, the Company's income from continuing operations attributable to Ashland was $0.83 per diluted share in Q3 FY17 versus $0.78 per diluted share for Q3 FY16. Ashland's revenue and earnings numbers topped analysts' consensus estimates of $842.78 million and $0.70 per share, respectively.

Ashland's Segment Performance

Specialty Ingredients - During Q3 FY17, the Specialty Ingredients business reported sales of $591 million, up 7% on a y-o-y basis. The Company noted that approximately six percentage points of this increase was driven by the successful completion of the Pharmachem's acquisition. With the addition of approximately $7 million of EBITDA from Pharmachem in the reported quarter, total adjusted EBITDA grew 2% to $131 million on a y-o-y basis, at the upper end of the Company's outlook range.

For Q3 FY17, the segment's Consumer Specialties sales and volumes grew by 16% and 11%, respectively on a y-o-y basis. Ashland's personal care team reported a strong quarter, led by disciplined volume and price execution within the oral and skin care end markets. Industrial Specialties' sales grew by 1% and volumes declined by 1% on a y-o-y basis.

For Q4 FY17, Specialty Ingredients' sales are expected to be in the range of $590 million-$610 million compared to $532 million in Q4 FY16. The segment's adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $135 million-$145 million versus $126 million in the prior year's same period. Also during the quarter, y-o-y price increases are expected to be greater than y-o-y raw material cost increases.

Composites - During Q3 FY17, the Composites segment's sales surged 20% to $209 million on a y-o-y basis, driven by a 10% increase in volumes resulting from strong demand for the Company's value-added products in North America and Asia, as well as the addition of volumes from the facility in Etain, France, that Ashland recently acquired from Reichhold. Ashland noted that the Etain facility contributed approximately three percentage points to the sales increase with a small EBITDA contribution. Composites reported adjusted EBITDA of $27 million, reflecting a growth of 17% on a y-o-y basis.

For Q4 FY17, Composites expects sales to be in the range of $200 million-$210 million, reflecting continued volume growth, disciplined pricing, and a full-quarter contribution from the Etain composites facility compared to $162 million in the year-ago same quarter. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $20 million-$25 million compared to $14 million in Q4 FY16.

Intermediates and Solvents (I&S) – the I&S division reported sales of $70 million for Q3 FY17, reflecting a 9% gain on a y-o-y basis, driven by the successful implementation of price increases for butanediol (BDO), consistent with improving global supply-demand dynamics. During the reported quarter, I&S reported adjusted EBITDA of $10 million, a 43% on a y-o-y basis.

For Q4 FY17, I&S expects sales to be in the range of $75 million-$85 million, reflecting continued mix and price improvements, compared to $60 million in Q4 FY16. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $10 million-$15 million compared to $3 million in the year earlier corresponding quarter.

Cash Matters

During Q3 FY17, Ashland's capital expenditures were $53 million compared to $61 million in Q3 FY16. The Company generated free cash flow of $79 million during the reported quarter compared to $27 million in the prior year's same quarter. For FY17, Ashland is forecasting free cash flow in the range of $90 million to $100 million. At the quarter end, Ashland had approximately $1.1 billion of available liquidity, including $492 million in cash. The majority of this cash is held outside the US.

Stock Performance

On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $61.56, slightly up 0.67% from its previous closing price of $61.15. A total volume of 735.71 thousand shares have exchanged hands. Ashland Global's stock price advanced 4.17% in the past six months and 10.27% in the previous twelve months. Furthermore, since the start of the year, shares of the Company have rallied 15.13%. The stock has a dividend yield of 1.46%. At Wednesday's closing price, the stock's net capitalization stands at $3.86 billion.

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