) remains committed to deliver incremental value to its
shareholders. The specialty chemicals maker, best known for its
Valvoline automotive lubricants, said that its Board has approved
a roughly 51% raise in its quarterly dividend to 34 cents per
share from 22.5 cents. Annualized, this represents a payout of
$1.36 per share. The revised dividend is payable on Jun 15, 2013,
to shareholders of record as of May 31, 2013.
ASHLAND INC (ASH): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Separately, Ashland's Board approved a new share repurchase
program worth $600 million. The new authorization, which is
effective immediately, replaces the company's earlier repurchase
program which had roughly $330 million remaining. Around $150
million of shares are expected to be bought back through an
accelerated repurchase program to be initiated on or before May
31, 2013. The new buyback program will expire on Dec 31, 2014.
The twin announcement reflects Ashland's ability to generate
strong cash flows. Its cash flow from operating activities zoomed
roughly eight-and-a-half fold year over year in the first-half of
Ashland makes nickel and cobalt-based alloys in sheet, coil and
plate forms. Its Consumer Markets segment markets Valvoline, the
world's first lubricating oil. It also operates the Valvoline
Instant Oil Change, the nation's second-largest franchised
quick-lube chain. Ashland offers specialty chemicals in more than
Ashland, last month, reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 (ended
Mar 31, 2013) adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) from
continuing operation of $1.78 per share, outshining the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1.56.
Profit from continuing operations, as reported, fell roughly 39%
year over year to $55 million of 68 cents a share. Revenues fell
5% year over year to $1,974 million, missing the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $2,057 million. The company was challenged by
weakness across a number of key regions, especially Europe. It
witnessed lower sales across each of its business segments in the
quarter on lower demand.
Ashland currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #5 (Strong
Other companies in the chemical industry that are worth
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.
). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).