posted fourth-quarter earnings that were better than Wall Street expected.
The company reported fourth-quarter income of $97 million, or $1.38 a share, compared with $80 million, or $1.11 a share, in the year-ago period. Eleven analysts expected the company to earn $1.19 for the quarter, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
. Ashland's fourth-quarter earnings excluded unusual items.
Sales and operating revenue for the quarter rose to $2.14 billion from $1.86 billion a year ago.