BMO Capital Markets Trims Stepan Company (SCL) Target Price to $36.00

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) had its price objective lowered by BMO Capital Markets from $42.00 to $36.00 in a research note released on Monday.

A number of other research firms have also commented on SCL. Wellington Shields lowered shares of Stepan from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Stepan from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Stepan from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. ValuEngine raised shares of Stepan from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, National Bank Financial reduced their price objective on shares of Stepan from $40.00 to $27.00 and set a sector perform rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Stepan currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $52.00.

Shares of Stepan (SCL) opened at 79.39 on Monday. Stepan has a 1-year low of $66.97 and a 1-year high of $92.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $84.99 and its 200 day moving average is $82.10. The company has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a PE ratio of 20.67 and a beta of 1.26.

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

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 31st will be given a dividend of $0.205 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.03%. Stepan’s payout ratio is presently 21.52%.

In related news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total transaction of $713,632.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 287,962 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,180,941. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.27, for a total transaction of $1,189,050.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 151,864 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,038,259.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 13.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCL. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 455.2% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 965 shares during the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC increased its position in Stepan by 1.8% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in Stepan during the first quarter worth about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Stepan by 224.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC increased its position in Stepan by 1.8% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 1,904 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.06% 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.

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