Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

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 analysts have also weighed in on the company. Seaport Global Securities increased their price target on Stepan from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. National Bank Financial raised Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $37.00 in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Finally, TD Securities cut their price objective on Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.60.

Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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Stepan (NYSE:SCL) opened at 70.07 on Wednesday. Stepan has a 52-week low of $40.72 and a 52-week high of $72.54. The stock has a market cap of $1.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.21 and a beta of 1.22. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $69.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $61.28.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.14. Stepan had a return on equity of 16.78% and a net margin of 5.29%. The company had revenue of $454.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.45 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.91 EPS. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Stepan will post ($0.34) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st were given a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. Stepan’s payout ratio is 18.67%.

In other news, VP Scott C. Mason sold 9,368 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.10, for a total transaction of $600,488.80. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 25,270 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,619,807. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total value of $108,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 51,489 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,707,208. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 14.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SCL. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Stepan during the second quarter worth about $213,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in Stepan by 7.4% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 5,263 shares of the company’s stock worth $314,000 after buying an additional 364 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in Stepan by 6.4% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 34,171 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,034,000 after buying an additional 2,051 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 13.7% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 122,694 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,304,000 after buying an additional 14,756 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 2.5% in the second quarter. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. now owns 7,070 shares of the company’s stock worth $421,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. 59.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Stepan Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SCL

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