Stepan (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 Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Stepan Company is a major manufacturer of specialty and intermediate chemicals used in a broad range of industries. Stepan is a leading producer of surfactants, which are the key ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning compounds. The Company is also a leading supplier of polyurethane polyols used in the expanding thermal insulation market and C.A.S.E. (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, and Elastomers) industries. “

SCL has been the subject of several other research reports. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on shares of Stepan from $109.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 18th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Stepan from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. Seaport Global Securities upgraded shares of Stepan from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 2nd. Finally, CL King assumed coverage on shares of Stepan in a research report on Wednesday, March 18th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Stepan has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $63.33.

NYSE:SCL opened at $95.40 on Tuesday. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $94.58 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $95.23. Stepan has a 52-week low of $69.33 and a 52-week high of $105.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 1.84 and a current ratio of 2.48. The company has a market cap of $1.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.01 and a beta of 0.98.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 21st. The basic materials company reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.26. The company had revenue of $449.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $448.67 million. Stepan had a net margin of 5.81% and a return on equity of 13.00%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Edward J. Wehmer sold 1,183 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.43, for a total value of $110,527.69. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Jason Scott Keiper bought 275 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $92.00 per share, with a total value of $25,300.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now directly owns 1,370 shares in the company, valued at approximately $126,040. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders purchased 1,126 shares of company stock valued at $101,896. 6.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SCL. FMR LLC increased its stake in Stepan by 189.0% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 341 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 29,412 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,013,000 after acquiring an additional 4,787 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 7.5% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,510 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $257,000 after acquiring an additional 176 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 206,236 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $21,127,000 after acquiring an additional 5,498 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Stepan by 43.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 85,548 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,763,000 after buying an additional 25,934 shares in the last quarter. 74.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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