Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) VP Scott R. Behrens sold 664 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $52,429.44. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,259 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $415,250.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) traded down 0.38% during trading on Monday, reaching $79.68. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 53,988 shares. Stepan Company has a 52 week low of $53.37 and a 52 week high of $87.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.36 and a beta of 1.17. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $77.06 and a 200 day moving average of $76.47.

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.17. Stepan Company had a return on equity of 16.74% and a net margin of 5.03%. The business earned $420.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $432.80 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.74 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Stepan Company will post $4.50 EPS for the current year.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL)

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 3rd were issued a $0.205 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 1st. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.03%. Stepan Company’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.19%.

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Several equities analysts have issued reports on the company. TD Securities boosted their target price on Stepan Company from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 7th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on Stepan Company from $40.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 10th. Wellington Shields upgraded Stepan Company from a “hold” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research report on Friday, February 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Stepan Company from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.00.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SCL. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Stepan Company during the fourth quarter worth $25,377,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in Stepan Company by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 10,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $847,000 after buying an additional 490 shares during the period. Summit Global Investments acquired a new stake in Stepan Company during the fourth quarter worth $546,000. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Stepan Company by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 75,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,165,000 after buying an additional 1,789 shares during the period. Finally, Two Sigma Investments LP boosted its stake in Stepan Company by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 3,164 shares of the company’s stock worth $258,000 after buying an additional 164 shares during the period. 61.61% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Stepan Company 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.

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