Press coverage about Stepan (NYSE:SCL) has been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment reports. The research group ranks the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Stepan earned a coverage optimism score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave headlines about the basic materials company an impact score of 44.3378636270699 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Several analysts have weighed in on SCL shares. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Scotiabank raised shares of Stepan from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. National Bank Financial raised shares of Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $27.00 to $35.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, TD Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Stepan in a research note on Sunday, September 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.60.

Shares of Stepan (NYSE SCL) opened at $80.34 on Thursday. Stepan has a 52 week low of $68.51 and a 52 week high of $92.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a quick ratio of 2.08 and a current ratio of 2.64. The company has a market cap of $1,805.86, a P/E ratio of 19.46 and a beta of 1.29.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.92 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 period last year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. Stepan’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Stepan will post 4.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th were paid a dividend of $0.225 per share. This is a boost from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 29th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is 23.32%.

In other news, VP Frank Pacholec sold 832 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.55, for a total transaction of $67,017.60. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 49,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,981,505.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.16, for a total transaction of $81,160.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 2,960 shares in the company, valued at $240,233.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,650 shares of company stock worth $215,793 over the last three months. 13.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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About Stepan

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.

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

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