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Ashland (ASH) Wraps Up Sale of Performance Adhesives Unit

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. ASH recently completed the sale of its Performance Adhesives business to Arkema in an all-cash transaction valued at roughly $1.65 billion.

Ashland anticipates net proceeds of roughly $1.2-$1.3 billion from the sale. It will utilize the proceeds to maintain a strong capital allocation to invest in the development of core businesses as well as optimize its balance sheet and reward shareholders.

The divestment is in sync with the company’s strategy to direct resources for expanding the additive and ingredients portfolio and aligning it with the long-term environment, social and governance drivers and high-quality consumer markets.

Ashland seeks to expand its position as a leader in the additive and ingredients domain and maintain capital allocation discipline while focusing on improving cash flow and margins.

Citi acted as financial advisor while Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Squire Patton Boggs LLP were legal advisors to Ashland.

Shares of Ashland have gained 2.1% in the past year against a 17.9% fall of the industry.

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Ashland, in its last earnings call, stated that it expects sales in the range of $2.25-$2.35 billion for fiscal 2022. It also anticipates adjusted EBITDA between $550 million and $570 million.

The company noted that it sees underlying demand to remain strong and expects its pricing actions to cover the anticipated inflation. It also projects the current shipping challenges to continue over the coming quarters. The company is committed to taking further measures to recover any additional cost inflation. It will also continue to proactively build inventories in major regions to mitigate the supply-chain and shipping headwinds.


Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Allegheny Technologies Incorporated ATI, The Mosaic Company MOS and AdvanSix Inc. ASIX.

Allegheny, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 661.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATI's earnings for the current year has been revised 45.6% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Allegheny beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 127.2%. ATI has rallied around 24.9% over a year.

Mosaic, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a projected earnings growth rate of 104.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MOS's current-year earnings has been revised 21.3% upward in the past 60 days.

Mosaic beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters, while missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 3.7%, on average. MOS has rallied around 94.9% in a year.

AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 17.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ASIX’s current-year earnings has been revised 12.4% upward in the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 12.4%. ASIX has surged 47.5% in a year. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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