Stepan (SCL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

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. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on SCL. National Bank Financial upgraded Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $27.00 to $35.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Scotiabank upgraded Stepan from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $35.60.

Stepan (SCL) opened at $71.51 on Wednesday. Stepan has a fifty-two week low of $68.51 and a fifty-two week high of $92.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,609.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.53 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 2.64 and a quick ratio of 2.08.

In related news, VP Debra Stefaniak sold 818 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.66, for a total value of $67,615.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 6,616 shares in the company, valued at $546,878.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 13.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 34,868 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,754,000 after purchasing an additional 1,347 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new position in shares of Stepan during the fourth quarter worth about $552,000. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 62.8% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 111,815 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,830,000 after purchasing an additional 43,145 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc acquired a new position in shares of Stepan during the fourth quarter worth about $209,000. Finally, Alambic Investment Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 25.1% during the fourth quarter. Alambic Investment Management L.P. now owns 99,400 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,850,000 after purchasing an additional 19,960 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.23% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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