Stepan Company (SCL) Position Reduced by First Trust Advisors LP

First Trust Advisors LP lessened its stake in Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) by 9.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 15,432 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,646 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP owned approximately 0.07% of Stepan worth $1,291,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Stepan by 455.2% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 965 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Stepan by 224.9% during the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Stepan by 17.6% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,254 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $196,000 after purchasing an additional 337 shares during the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in Stepan by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 2,757 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $240,000 after purchasing an additional 104 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its stake in Stepan by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 3,275 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $285,000 after purchasing an additional 146 shares during the last quarter. 63.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

SCL has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. National Bank Financial raised shares of Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $27.00 to $35.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a research report on Friday, September 1st. 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. Finally, TD Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price target on shares of Stepan in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Stepan presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.60.

In related news, VP Debra Stefaniak sold 818 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.66, for a total value of $67,615.88. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,616 shares in the company, valued at approximately $546,878.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.10, for a total transaction of $120,150.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 49,014 shares in the company, valued at $3,926,021.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 5,650 shares of company stock worth $458,343. Corporate insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) opened at $81.99 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.64, a quick ratio of 2.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The firm has a market cap of $1,846.66, a PE ratio of 19.90 and a beta of 1.29. Stepan Company has a 1 year low of $68.51 and a 1 year high of $92.97.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.92 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.09 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $487.81 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $469.75 million. Stepan had a net margin of 4.81% and a return on equity of 13.98%. The company’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.06 EPS. analysts expect that Stepan Company will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th will be given a dividend of $0.225 per share. This is a boost from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%. Stepan’s payout ratio is presently 23.32%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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