Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals which are sold to other manufacturers and then made into a variety of end products. They have three reportable segments: surfactants, polymers and specialty products. “

Several other research analysts also recently commented on SCL. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a report on Monday, August 14th. BidaskClub downgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a report on Friday, September 1st. National Bank Financial decreased their price objective on Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Wellington Shields downgraded Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Stepan has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.40.

Shares of Stepan (SCL) opened at 80.79 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $1.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.03 and a beta of 1.26. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $78.89 and a 200-day moving average price of $82.28. Stepan has a 52-week low of $67.85 and a 52-week high of $92.97.

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

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In related news, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.10, for a total value of $120,150.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 49,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,926,021.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total value of $713,632.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 287,962 shares in the company, valued at $23,180,941. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,904 shares of company stock worth $2,221,092 over the last three months. 13.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 965 shares during the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Stepan in the first quarter worth about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 28.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $151,000 after purchasing an additional 429 shares during the last quarter. 62.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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