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Ashland 2Q Earnings Fall 54% On Charges; Results Top Views

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Ashland Inc.'s (ASH) fiscal second-quarter profit fell 54% on debt-issuance charges as results topped analysts' expectations and sales rebounded. Chairman and Chief Executive James O'Brien said the results "reflect significant volume increases across our businesses, as well as the progress we have made in resizing our cost structure during the past two years." Ashland has been selling assets in the wake of its $2.6 billion takeover of Hercules, using proceeds to reduce its heavy debt load. Worries over its debt pressure from the purchase, as a result, have receded. Two ratings agencies in March upgraded Ashland to the brink of investment grade on stronger demand and improved credit quality. For the quarter ended March 31, Ashland reported a profit of $22 million, or 27 cents a share, down from $48 million, or 65 cents a share. Excluding accelerated amortization of debt-issuing costs and other impacts, earnings rose to $1.02 from 85 cents as revenue increased 13% to $2.25 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 88 cents on revenue of $2.09 billion. Operating margin rose to 6.72% from 5.63%. Sales at Ashland's largest segment, water technology, rose 4%. Sales at the consumer business, which includes Valvoline, were up 6%, helping by a 16% increase in lubricant sales. Ashland on Tuesday also announced it has completed debt refinancing, which will cut annual interest costs $50 million. Shares closed Monday at $62.31 and didn't trade premarket. The stock has more than tripled in the past year. -By Jodi Xu, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3037; jodi.xu@dowjones.com

Stock News for Ashland (ASH)
DateTimeHeadline
05/20/201514:00:16New Valvoline Instant Oil Change service center opens near Pittsburgh
05/20/201510:00:34Ashland announces price increase for unsaturated polyester resins...
05/20/201510:00:00Valvoline⢠taps Big as agency of record
05/18/201517:20:04Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/14/201509:00:00Valvoline⢠Teams Up with Hendrick Motorsports Drivers to Test D...
05/14/201508:07:38Ashland Inc. board raises quarterly dividend by nearly 15 percent
05/14/201508:05:27Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/12/201514:25:10Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/12/201511:33:08Amended Statement of Beneficial Ownership (sc 13d/a)
05/08/201516:41:54Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/08/201512:05:15What Is Jeff Gordon's Net Worth?
05/04/201516:38:15Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
04/29/201517:00:14Ashland Inc. reports preliminary financial results for second...
04/29/201516:45:07Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/22/201509:00:00Balchem Appoints Theodore Harris President and Chief Executive...
04/22/201508:45:39Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/22/201508:00:00Fernandez-Moreno promoted to senior vice president of Ashland...
04/15/201516:38:18Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/10/201509:58:12InsiderInsights.com Daily Round Up 4/9/15: OVAS, AGCO, OPK, OGES
04/09/201516:36:21Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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