Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its stake in Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) by 0.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 29,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL owned approximately 0.13% of Stepan worth $2,527,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Comerica Bank increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 4.2% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 21,672 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,859,000 after buying an additional 883 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 5.6% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 399,280 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $31,466,000 after buying an additional 21,345 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 0.6% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 6,639 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $523,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the period. Capital Fund Management S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Stepan during the first quarter valued at about $1,521,000. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Stepan during the first quarter valued at about $1,647,000. Institutional investors own 62.56% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Stepan Company (SCL) opened at 76.62 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $83.07 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.03. Stepan Company has a one year low of $66.97 and a one year high of $92.97. The company has a market capitalization of $1.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.95 and a beta of 1.26.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.02. Stepan had a return on equity of 14.95% and a net margin of 4.85%. The company had revenue of $495.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $472.35 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.31 earnings per share. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Stepan Company will post $4.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 31st will be paid a $0.205 dividend. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. Stepan’s payout ratio is currently 21.52%.

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Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Stepan from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Wellington Shields downgraded Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. National Bank Financial lowered their price target on Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.40.

In other Stepan news, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 667 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.64, for a total transaction of $51,785.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $253,572.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael Ross Boyce sold 872 shares of the firm’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 transaction, the director now directly owns 12,026 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $926,002. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 26,404 shares of company stock valued at $2,100,942. 13.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Stepan Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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