Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) VP Scott R. Behrens sold 664 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $52,429.44. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,259 shares in the company, valued at $415,250.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Shares of Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) traded down 0.38% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $79.68. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 53,988 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $77.06 and its 200-day moving average price is $76.47. The company has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.36 and a beta of 1.17. Stepan Company has a 1-year low of $53.37 and a 1-year high of $87.00.

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.17. Stepan Company had a net margin of 5.03% and a return on equity of 16.74%. The firm earned $420.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $432.80 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Stepan Company will post $4.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 3rd were paid a dividend of $0.205 per share. This represents a $0.82 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 1st. Stepan Company’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.19%.

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Several analysts recently commented on SCL shares. TD Securities raised their target price on Stepan Company from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 7th. Wellington Shields raised Stepan Company from a “hold” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a report on Friday, February 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Stepan Company from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Stepan Company from $40.00 to $42.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.00.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. American International Group Inc. increased its stake in Stepan Company by 1.3% in the third quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 14,574 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,059,000 after buying an additional 184 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Stepan Company by 2.8% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 55,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,054,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY increased its stake in Stepan Company by 20.6% in the third quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY now owns 60,009 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,360,000 after buying an additional 10,243 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Stepan Company by 1.6% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 379,791 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,596,000 after buying an additional 5,841 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Securities LLC bought a new stake in Stepan Company during the third quarter valued at approximately $234,000. 61.61% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Stepan Company

Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals, which are sold to other manufacturers and used in a variety of end products. The Company has three segments: Surfactants, Polymers and Specialty Products. The Company’s Surfactants segment offers products, which are principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, such as detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes.

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