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Ashland OKs $500M stock buyback program

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Ashland, headquartered off Hercules Road in Greenville, has authorized new stock buybacks and higher dividends to reward shareholders. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON –  Ashland Global Holdings, a public specialty materials company headquartered off Hercules Road, announced Wednesday that its board of directors has approved a new $500 million stock buyback program.

The evergreen share repurchase program authorization terminates and replaces the company’s $1 billion share repurchase program approved in 2018. Under the new program, the company’s common shares may be repurchased in open market transactions, privately negotiated transactions or from company insiders, pursuant to regulatory processes.

As of April 30, there were more than 54.1 million shares of Ashland common stock outstanding.

Ashland’s board also set a quarterly cash dividend of 33.5 cents per share on the company’s common stock representing a 12% increase from the previous quarter. The dividend is payable on June 15 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 1.

Ashland’s stock price jumped nearly 3% from the close of market Wednesday to Thursday’s opening bell following the news and was trending even higher in trading at midday.

Although the stock market has been battered in recent weeks amid concerns over inflation and the war in Ukraine, turning the overall market toward bear territory, Ashland has performed comparatively well. The $5.7 billion company is only off its 52-week high share price by about 4% as of Thursday while the S&P 500 is off by 15%.

Benefitting from strong demand for its additives and personal care segments, Ashland beat the consensus estimates for its revenue and earnings in the second quarter.

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