ValuEngine Lowers Stepan (NYSE:SCL) to Hold

ValuEngine lowered shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday morning, ValuEngine reports.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on SCL. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on Stepan in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd. They set a sector perform rating and a $21.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Stepan from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $67.80.

NYSE:SCL traded down $0.48 during trading on Thursday, reaching $96.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 73,865 shares, compared to its average volume of 73,719. The company has a market capitalization of $2.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.69 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 2.01 and a current ratio of 2.69. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $92.80. Stepan has a 12 month low of $69.17 and a 12 month high of $101.84.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $473.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $519.20 million. Stepan had a return on equity of 14.19% and a net margin of 5.39%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.38 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Stepan will post 5.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 30th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 29th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. Stepan’s payout ratio is 20.49%.

In other Stepan news, VP Sean Thomas Moriarty sold 3,418 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.97, for a total value of $338,279.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 5,075 shares in the company, valued at approximately $502,272.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Luis Rojo bought 300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $86.64 per share, with a total value of $25,992.00. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 1,900 shares in the company, valued at $164,616. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have bought 750 shares of company stock valued at $65,488 and have sold 15,643 shares valued at $1,519,392. 11.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Stepan by 189.0% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 341 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 223 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale bought a new position in Stepan in the 2nd quarter worth about $66,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in Stepan in the 2nd quarter worth about $151,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Stepan by 227.7% in the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,796 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $157,000 after purchasing an additional 1,248 shares during the period. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Stepan in the 1st quarter worth about $233,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.95% of the company’s stock.

About Stepan

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products.

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To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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