Equities research analysts expect Stepan (NYSE:SCL) to announce $513.70 million in sales for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have made estimates for Stepan’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $510.40 million and the highest is $517.00 million. Stepan reported sales of $499.34 million in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 2.9%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Stepan will report full year sales of $2.06 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $2.02 billion to $2.08 billion. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post sales of $2.19 billion, with estimates ranging from $2.14 billion to $2.24 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Stepan.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 21st. The basic materials company reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.21. Stepan had a return on equity of 14.68% and a net margin of 5.66%. The firm had revenue of $466.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $486.67 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.06 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

SCL has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Stepan in a research note on Monday, December 10th. They set a “buy” rating and a $94.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 28th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $74.50.

In other news, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 12,889 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.83, for a total transaction of $1,209,374.87. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 202,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,007,706.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.24, for a total value of $182,480.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,768 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,256,192.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 500 shares of company stock valued at $45,141 and have sold 18,444 shares valued at $1,703,708. 12.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Stepan by 2.0% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 415,094 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,383,000 after acquiring an additional 8,178 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Stepan by 67.8% in the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 29,348 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,554,000 after purchasing an additional 11,854 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Stepan by 39.0% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 29,421 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,560,000 after purchasing an additional 8,253 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of Stepan by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 99,642 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,670,000 after purchasing an additional 4,868 shares during the period. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Stepan in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $276,000. 69.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of SCL traded up $0.07 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $88.81. 99,620 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 84,441. Stepan has a 12-month low of $68.09 and a 12-month high of $95.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 2.37 and a quick ratio of 1.78. The company has a market capitalization of $2.03 billion, a PE ratio of 18.20 and a beta of 1.29.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 4th were paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 1st. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.49%.

Stepan Company 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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