Stepan (NYSE:SCL) VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 3,232 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.16, for a total value of $310,789.12. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 15,219 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,463,459.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Shares of NYSE SCL traded down $0.35 during trading on Friday, hitting $96.13. The company had a trading volume of 70,557 shares, compared to its average volume of 65,945. The company has a market cap of $2.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.70 and a beta of 1.30. Stepan has a 52 week low of $69.17 and a 52 week high of $101.84. The business’s 50-day moving average is $95.14 and its 200 day moving average is $91.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 1.97 and a current ratio of 2.69.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $473.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $519.20 million. Stepan had a return on equity of 14.19% and a net margin of 5.39%. The firm’s revenue was down 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.38 earnings per share. On average, research analysts expect that Stepan will post 5.08 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 30th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 29th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.49%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Stepan by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,020,331 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $277,601,000 after buying an additional 31,030 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Stepan by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,097,483 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $81,214,000 after purchasing an additional 3,653 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Stepan by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 401,758 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $36,926,000 after purchasing an additional 3,045 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Stepan by 11.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 356,285 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $32,747,000 after purchasing an additional 36,756 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Stepan by 6.2% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 274,456 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $20,309,000 after purchasing an additional 15,923 shares during the period. 73.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of research firms have weighed in on SCL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. BMO Capital Markets cut their target price on Stepan from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Scotiabank cut Stepan to a “sector underperform” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. ValuEngine cut Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on Stepan in a report on Wednesday, July 3rd. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $21.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Stepan currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.14.

About Stepan

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products.

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Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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