Macquarie Group Ltd. lowered its stake in Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) by 14.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 26,600 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,500 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. owned 0.12% of Stepan worth $1,583,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in SCL. Societe Generale purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan during the second quarter valued at $125,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Stepan during the second quarter worth approximately $125,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 3.9% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 2,321 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 14.0% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 2,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $166,000 after buying an additional 342 shares during the period. Finally, Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ bought a new stake in shares of Stepan during the second quarter worth approximately $200,000. 60.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) opened at 70.38 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $67.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.07. The company has a market capitalization of $1.57 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 1.22. Stepan Co. has a 1-year low of $40.49 and a 1-year high of $71.33.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.14. Stepan had a return on equity of 16.78% and a net margin of 5.29%. The company had revenue of $454.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.45 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Stepan Co. will post ($0.34) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 31st were paid a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. Stepan’s payout ratio is 18.67%.

SCL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. National Bank Financial raised Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $32.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Seaport Global Securities upped their price target on Stepan from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Finally, TD Securities lowered their price target on Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.60.

In other Stepan news, VP Scott C. Mason sold 9,368 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.10, for a total value of $600,488.80. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 25,270 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,619,807. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 32,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.46, for a total value of $2,030,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 157,247 shares in the company, valued at $9,978,894.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 14.40% of the company’s stock.

Stepan Company Profile

Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals, which are sold to other manufacturers and used in a variety of end products. The Company has three segments: Surfactants, Polymers and Specialty Products. The Company’s Surfactants segment offers products, which are principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, such as detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SCL

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