3. Ashland ( ASH) operates in five business segments: Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials, Ashland Consumer Markets (Valvoline), and Ashland Distribution.

The company will report its second quarter 2011 results on April 26. Total revenue is seen declining 34% to $1.5 billion from $2.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. However, net income is expected to surge 170% to $59.3 million from $22 million. Moreover, earning per share is estimated to soar 193% to 79 cents from 22 cents in the second quarter of 2010.

The company's board of directors recently approved a $400 million stock repurchase program. In addition, the board intends to increase the annual dividend to 70 cents per share from the current 60 cents, effective June 15 dividend payment.

Of the 10 analysts covering the stock, 80% recommend it a buy, while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts expect an upside of 25% to $69.33 in value from current levels.

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