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What: Specialty chemical company Ashland
So what: Ever since its $2.28 billion purchase of specialty chemicals maker Hercules, Ashland has been looking to transform itself into a more focused company. Naturally, today's divesture of another non-core asset was another significant step toward that goal.
Now what: I just love investing in special situations, and Ashland seems like one of the more attractive ones. Ashland still has a ton of debt related to the Hercules purchase, but its portfolio is better positioned for the long run, while management seems to be making steady fat-cutting progress. With Ashland still trading at a forward P/E discount to larger chemical plays such as Dow Chemical
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