Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) was upgraded by stock analysts at National Bank Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $35.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock, up from their prior price target of $27.00. National Bank Financial’s price target suggests a potential downside of 60.09% from the stock’s previous close.
SCL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a research note on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub lowered shares of Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. Wellington Shields cut shares of Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on shares of Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Monday, August 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Stepan currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $36.25.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $495.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $472.35 million. Stepan had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 14.95%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS.
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In related news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 8,865 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.50, for a total transaction of $713,632.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 287,962 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,180,941. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.60, for a total transaction of $122,400.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 48,597 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,965,515.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 29,404 shares of company stock valued at $2,343,492. 13.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SCL. Advisor Group Inc. raised its holdings 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. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new position in Stepan in the first quarter worth about $134,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its holdings 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. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Stepan by 28.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 429 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in Stepan in the first quarter worth about $202,000. 62.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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