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Goldman Cuts Ashland to 'Market Perform'

Goldman downgraded Ashland (ASH) to market perform from market outperform.

Analyst Arjun Murti says the downgrade was based on a new asbestos liability disclosure included in the company's recently filed 10-Q report. Fundamentally, he says Ashland's shares appear inexpensive trading at a normalized enterprise value to a discount annualized cash flow multiple of 4.8.

However, he feels it is prudent to lower the rating one notch at this time given the significant negative stock market reaction to other companies impacted by asbestos litigation, coupled with top management uncertainty following a surprising announcement last week that its CEO will be stepping down in November.

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