Walthausen & Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) by 43.4% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 130,545 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 39,540 shares during the quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC owned approximately 0.58% of Stepan worth $10,921,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its holdings in Stepan by 6.8% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 33,521 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,804,000 after buying an additional 2,121 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its holdings in Stepan by 42.0% during the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 3,759 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $314,000 after buying an additional 1,111 shares during the last quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP raised its holdings in Stepan by 71.1% during the 3rd quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 5,612 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $470,000 after buying an additional 2,333 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Stepan by 2.7% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,039,062 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $86,928,000 after buying an additional 27,413 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Stepan by 4.0% during the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 153,213 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $12,818,000 after buying an additional 5,892 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on SCL. Scotiabank raised shares of Stepan from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. National Bank Financial boosted their price objective on shares of Stepan from $35.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. TD Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Stepan in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.60.

Shares of Stepan Company (NYSE SCL) traded down $0.12 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $78.75. 63,100 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 73,459. The company has a current ratio of 2.64, a quick ratio of 2.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The stock has a market cap of $1,776.36, a P/E ratio of 19.14 and a beta of 1.29. Stepan Company has a fifty-two week low of $68.51 and a fifty-two week high of $92.97.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by ($0.17). The company had revenue of $487.81 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $469.75 million. Stepan had a net margin of 4.81% and a return on equity of 13.98%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.06 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Stepan Company will post 4.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th will be given a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 29th. This is an increase from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.32%.

In other news, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.60, for a total value of $122,400.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 48,597 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,965,515.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Debra Stefaniak sold 818 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.66, for a total transaction of $67,615.88. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,616 shares in the company, valued at $546,878.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,150 shares of company stock worth $338,193 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

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Stepan Profile

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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