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Ashland (ASH) to Raise BDO and Derivatives Prices in EMEA

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Ashland Global Holdings Inc . ASH will increase prices of 1-4 butanediol and derivatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The price hike will be effective immediately or as contracts permit.

The company will increase the prices of 1-4 butanediol (BDO) by €100/MT and for derivatives (including THF, NMP, BLO, 2-Pyrol) up to €200/MT.

Ashland noted that the price increase reflects evolving market conditions and will help it to continue to serve its customers with the premium level services. The latest move follows a series of price increases announced by the company in the recent past.

Ashland is also taking appropriate pricing actions in response to raw material cost inflation. The company, earlier this month, announced price increase on epoxy vinyl ester and specialty resins in North America, effective from Apr 1, 2018. The move is driven by sustained rise in the costs of major raw materials.

Shares of Ashland have declined 44.6% over a year, significantly underperforming the industry 's 8.7% gain.

Ashland's earnings and sales missed estimates in first-quarter fiscal 2018 (ended Dec 31, 2017). In the quarter, the company's adjusted earnings came in at 46 cents per share, trailing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents.

Revenues increased roughly 19.6% year over year to $842 million in the quarter. The figure, however, lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $860 million.

For fiscal 2018, Ashland updated its adjusted earnings outlook to a range of $2.90-$3.10 per share owing to changes in the company's effective tax rate. Also, the company raised effective tax rate expectation for the fiscal as a result of the recently enacted tax reform. This, in turn, is expected to reduce fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings by roughly 30 cents per share.

For second-quarter fiscal 2018, Ashland projects adjusted earnings in the range of 80-90 cents per share compared with 70 cents in the prior-year period. The company expects the benefit of pricing actions to be partly offset in the quarter by the impact of the planned maintenance shutdown in the Marl, Germany, facility.

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Price and Consensus

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Price and Consensus | Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are LyondellBasell Industries N.V. LYB , Kronos Worldwide Inc. KRO and BASF SE BASFY .

LyondellBasell has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 9% and sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company's shares have moved up 18% in a year. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Kronos has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 5% and flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. Its shares have gained 43.5% over a year.

BASF has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 6.7% and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Its shares have moved up 1.3% in a year.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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