Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) was upgraded by equities researchers at National Bank Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, StockTargetPrices.com reports. The firm currently has a $35.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $27.00. National Bank Financial’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 60.11% from the company’s previous close.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SCL. Wellington Shields cut Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. BidaskClub lowered Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Monday, August 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $36.25.

Shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) traded up 0.10% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $87.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 62,183 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.84 and a beta of 1.28. Stepan has a 12 month low of $67.85 and a 12 month high of $92.97. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $81.26 and its 200 day moving average is $83.16.

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

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This report was first posted by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this report on another domain, it was stolen and republished in violation of international copyright law. The original version of this report can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/11/stepan-company-scl-upgraded-at-national-bank-financial.html.

In related news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total transaction of $713,632.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly 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 available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.27, for a total value of $1,189,050.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 151,864 shares in the company, valued at $12,038,259.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 29,404 shares of company stock worth $2,343,492 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 455.2% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $102,000 after acquiring an additional 965 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in Stepan during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Stepan by 224.9% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $138,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Stepan by 28.8% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 429 shares during the period. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new position in Stepan during the first quarter valued at about $202,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.53% of the company’s stock.

About Stepan

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.

Stock Target Prices

Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

Receive News & Ratings for Stepan Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Stepan Company and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.