Stepan (NYSE:SCL) Cut to Neutral at Seaport Global Securities


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Seaport Global Securities lowered shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Monday, Analyst Ratings Network reports.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Stepan from $122.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 22nd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Stepan from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $118.67.

SCL opened at $124.59 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $119.34 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $113.87. The company has a quick ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 2.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The company has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion, a PE ratio of 26.06 and a beta of 1.00. Stepan has a 52 week low of $69.33 and a 52 week high of $131.72.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 21st. The basic materials company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.16. Stepan had a net margin of 6.15% and a return on equity of 13.22%. The firm had revenue of $464.48 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $455.70 million. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Stepan will post 5.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Investors of record on Monday, November 30th were paid a dividend of $0.305 per share. This is an increase from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 27th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.83%.

In related news, CEO F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 12,281 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.04, for a total transaction of $1,474,211.24. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 232,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,907,379.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 10,430 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.05, for a total transaction of $1,220,831.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 226,626 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $26,526,573.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 23,353 shares of company stock worth $2,770,959. 6.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Stepan by 189.0% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 341 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new position in Stepan in the second quarter valued at approximately $48,000. AdvisorNet Financial Inc raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 31.2% during the second quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 665 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $65,000 after purchasing an additional 158 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan during the third quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 7.2% during the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 1,646 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $159,000 after purchasing an additional 111 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.71% 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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