Shares of Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the ten research firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation, two have given a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $35.60.
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Scotiabank upgraded shares of Stepan from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. TD Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price on shares of Stepan in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. Finally, National Bank Financial raised their target price on shares of Stepan from $35.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Monday, November 13th.
Shares of Stepan (SCL) traded up $0.72 on Monday, reaching $80.94. 68,924 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 73,597. Stepan has a one year low of $68.51 and a one year high of $92.97. The company has a market cap of $1,806.76, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a quick ratio of 2.08, a current ratio of 2.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.92 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by ($0.17). Stepan had a net margin of 4.81% and a return on equity of 13.98%. The company had revenue of $487.81 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $469.75 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.06 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.3 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th will be given a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. This is an increase from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. Stepan’s payout ratio is presently 21.24%.
In other Stepan news, Director Michael Ross Boyce sold 872 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.00, for a total transaction of $67,144.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 12,026 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $926,002. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 667 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.64, for a total transaction of $51,785.88. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 3,266 shares in the company, valued at approximately $253,572.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 6,371 shares of company stock worth $509,657. Insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCL. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its position in Stepan by 225.5% during the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 217,276 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $18,934,000 after purchasing an additional 150,522 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in Stepan by 151.1% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 160,351 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,973,000 after purchasing an additional 96,489 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Stepan by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,597,255 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $226,324,000 after purchasing an additional 71,360 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in Stepan by 384.9% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 89,024 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,448,000 after purchasing an additional 70,664 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC grew its position in Stepan by 103.1% during the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 113,168 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,860,000 after purchasing an additional 57,455 shares during the last quarter. 61.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals, which are sold to other manufacturers and used in a range of end products. The Company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers and Specialty Products. The Company’s principal markets include manufacturers of cleaning and washing compounds (including detergents, shampoos, fabric softeners, toothpastes and household cleaners), paints, cosmetics, food, beverages, nutritional supplements, agricultural products and plastics.
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