Two Sigma Advisers LP cut its stake in Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 19.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 23,264 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 5,600 shares during the quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP owned approximately 0.10% of Stepan worth $1,722,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Burney Co. lifted its stake in Stepan by 9.7% in the 4th quarter. Burney Co. now owns 6,754 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $500,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Stepan by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,227,810 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $193,841,000 after purchasing an additional 28,876 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in Stepan in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $402,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Stepan by 3.9% in the 3rd quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 27,329 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,378,000 after purchasing an additional 1,032 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Stepan by 13.2% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 49,384 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,654,000 after purchasing an additional 5,754 shares in the last quarter. 72.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on SCL shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.50.

SCL opened at $87.69 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 1.78 and a current ratio of 2.37. Stepan has a 1-year low of $68.09 and a 1-year high of $95.32. The company has a market capitalization of $2.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.97 and a beta of 1.28.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The basic materials company reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $466.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $486.67 million. Stepan had a net margin of 5.66% and a return on equity of 14.68%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.06 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Stepan will post 5.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 4th were given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 1st. Stepan’s payout ratio is presently 20.49%.

In other news, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 12,889 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.83, for a total transaction of $1,209,374.87. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 202,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,007,706.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 2,000 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.24, for a total transaction of $182,480.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,768 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,256,192.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have bought 500 shares of company stock worth $45,141 and have sold 17,927 shares worth $1,664,845. 11.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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Stepan Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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