Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals which are sold to other manufacturers and then made into a variety of end products. They have three reportable segments: surfactants, polymers and specialty products. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. TD Securities restated a buy rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of Stepan in a report on Sunday, September 24th. BidaskClub lowered Stepan from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. National Bank Financial cut their price target on Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a sector perform rating on the stock in a report on Monday, June 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Stepan from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a report on Monday, August 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Stepan currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $46.80.

Shares of Stepan (NYSE SCL) opened at 83.66 on Wednesday. Stepan has a 1-year low of $67.85 and a 1-year high of $92.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $78.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.78 and a beta of 1.26.

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

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 31st were issued a dividend of $0.205 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $0.82 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Stepan’s payout ratio is presently 21.52%.

In related news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total transaction of $713,632.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 287,962 shares in the company, valued at $23,180,941. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.60, for a total value of $122,400.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 48,597 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,965,515.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 29,404 shares of company stock worth $2,343,492 in the last quarter. 13.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCL. Advisor Group Inc. raised its holdings in Stepan by 455.2% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $102,000 after acquiring an additional 965 shares in the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Stepan by 1.8% during the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in Stepan during the first quarter worth about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Stepan by 224.9% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Stepan by 28.8% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $151,000 after acquiring an additional 429 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.53% 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 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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Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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