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Ashland Inc. (SWOT Analysis) - August 2013

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“SWOT is an acronym for the internal Strengths and Weaknesses of a firm and the environmental Opportunities and Threats facing that firm. SWOT analysis is a widely used technique through which managers create a quick overview of a company’s strategic situation. The technique is based on the assumption that an effective strategy derives from a sound “fit” between a firm’s internal resources (strengths and weaknesses) and its external situation (opportunities and threats). A good fit maximizes a firm’s strengths and opportunities and minimizes its weaknesses and threats. Accurately applied, this simple assumption has powerful implications for the design of a successful strategy.”

Ashland Inc.

Ashland (or 'the company') is a provider of diversified chemical products, services, and solutions in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is headquartered in Covington, Kentucky, and employed about 15,000 people as of September 30, 2012.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Location of Factor

TYPE OF FACTOR

Favorable

Unfavorable

Internal

Strengths

  • Broad product and service portfolio addressing diverse market segments
  • Strong brand portfolio of Valvoline driving growth
  • Strong market position garnered through robust manufacturing capabilities

Weaknesses

  • Substantial level of indebtedness affecting financial flexibility

External

Opportunities

  • Increasing focus on higher margin specialty chemicals business
  • JV in foundry chemicals likely to enhance Ashland’s top-line growth
  • Increasing demand for environmental services

Threats

  • Intense competition could affect market share
  • Stringent environment regulations to increase operating costs
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