Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ashland (NYSE: ASH) is trading at unusually high volume Friday with 2.3 million shares changing hands. It is currently at 2.1 times its average daily volume and trading up $6.14 (+7.8%) at $84.97 as of 10:21 a.m. ET.
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Ashland has a market cap of $6.09 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. Shares are down 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Ashland Inc. operates as a specialty chemicals company in the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Specialty Ingredients, Water Technologies, Performance Materials, and Consumer Markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 77.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates Ashland as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Ashland Ratings Report. See all heavy volume stocks in our stocks moving on unusual volume list or get investment ideas from our investment research center. It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.