Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) has earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the nine analysts that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation, two have issued a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $44.20.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Industrial Alliance Securities raised shares of Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $41.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, May 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Finally, National Bank Financial dropped their price objective on Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 26th.

In other Stepan news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 287,962 shares in the company, valued at $23,180,941. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SCL. Hancock Holding Co. increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 0.5% in the second quarter. Hancock Holding Co. now owns 14,368 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,252,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 3.2% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 320,200 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $27,902,000 after buying an additional 9,900 shares during the last quarter. Ramsey Quantitative Systems bought a new stake in shares of Stepan during the second quarter valued at $338,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 12.6% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 63,106 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,499,000 after buying an additional 7,041 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. increased 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 valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 965 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.95% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Stepan (SCL) traded down 0.08% during trading on Friday, hitting $78.91. 97,652 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $1.78 billion, a PE ratio of 20.54 and a beta of 1.26. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $85.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.08. Stepan has a 1-year low of $66.61 and a 1-year high of $92.97.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $495.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $472.35 million. Stepan had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 14.95%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Stepan will post $4.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 31st will be given a $0.205 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. Stepan’s payout ratio is 21.52%.

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Stepan Company 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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