The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q2), Ashland met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew significantly. GAAP earnings per share contracted significantly.
Gross margins increased, operating margins contracted, net margins dropped.
Ashland reported revenue of $2.00 billion. The six analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated sales of $1.98 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $2.08 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $1.78. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $1.55 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $1.78 for Q2 were 17% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.52 per share. (The prior-year quarter included -$0.03 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.) GAAP EPS of $0.66 for Q2 were 41% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.11 per share. (The prior-year quarter included -$0.03 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.)
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 28.8%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 9.5%, 80 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.7%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.12 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.98.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.08 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.68.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Ashland is outperform, with an average price target of $89.43.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.