Shares of Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the nine ratings firms that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $43.00.

A number of research firms have recently commented on SCL. BidaskClub lowered shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Industrial Alliance Securities upgraded shares of Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $41.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $97.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price target on shares of Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Monday. Finally, National Bank Financial reduced their price target on shares of Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, June 26th.

Stepan (NYSE SCL) traded down 1.08% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $78.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 51,051 shares. The company has a market cap of $1.78 billion, a PE ratio of 20.51 and a beta of 1.26. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $85.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.12. Stepan has a 12 month low of $66.64 and a 12 month high of $92.97.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $495.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $472.35 million. Stepan had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 14.95%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.31 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Stepan will post $4.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.205 per share. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.52%.

In other news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total transaction of $713,632.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 287,962 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,180,941. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 455.2% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 965 shares in the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Stepan by 1.8% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in Stepan during the first quarter worth about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Stepan by 224.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Stepan by 1.8% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 1,904 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 34 shares in the last quarter. 62.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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