Stepan (SCL) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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

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. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. TD Securities reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $27.00 price objective on shares of Stepan in a research note on Wednesday, November 7th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Stepan in a research note on Monday, November 5th.

NYSE SCL opened at $76.93 on Friday. Stepan has a 1-year low of $68.09 and a 1-year high of $90.96. The company has a market capitalization of $1.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.54 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a quick ratio of 1.90, a current ratio of 2.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The basic materials company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.11. Stepan had a return on equity of 15.02% and a net margin of 4.78%. The firm had revenue of $508.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $504.20 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.92 EPS. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Stepan will post 4.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Stepan news, VP Robert Victor Slone sold 3,741 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.32, for a total transaction of $300,477.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $370,998.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Edward J. Wehmer sold 1,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.91, for a total value of $118,874.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 9,255 shares of company stock valued at $775,225 in the last three months. 12.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in Stepan by 10.0% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 307,891 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $24,019,000 after buying an additional 28,066 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 6.7% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,810,899 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $219,279,000 after buying an additional 176,940 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS acquired a new stake in shares of Stepan during the second quarter worth $329,000. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its holdings in shares of Stepan by 30.3% during the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 43,630 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,796,000 after purchasing an additional 10,144 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio boosted its holdings in shares of Stepan by 10.1% during the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 14,200 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. 67.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Stepan Company Profile

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products. The Surfactants segment offers surfactants that are used as principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, including detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, and floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes; and other applications, such as fabric softeners, germicidal quaternary compounds, and lubricating ingredients.

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