Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Stepan (SCL) to “Buy”

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $99.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.85% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Stepan Company is a major manufacturer of specialty and intermediate chemicals used in a broad range of industries. Stepan is a leading producer of surfactants, which are the key ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning compounds. The Company is also a leading supplier of polyurethane polyols used in the expanding thermal insulation market and C.A.S.E. (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants, and Elastomers) industries. “

Separately, ValuEngine raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th.

NYSE SCL traded down $0.24 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $87.73. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 281 shares, compared to its average volume of 59,553. Stepan has a twelve month low of $68.09 and a twelve month high of $90.96. The company has a current ratio of 2.55, a quick ratio of 1.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The company has a market cap of $2.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.87 and a beta of 1.19.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.38. Stepan had a net margin of 4.82% and a return on equity of 14.63%. The business had revenue of $519.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $519.90 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.32 EPS. Stepan’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.74 EPS for the current year.

In other Stepan news, VP Frank Pacholec sold 2,000 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.55, for a total transaction of $177,100.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 38,306 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,391,996.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 3,433 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.59, for a total transaction of $300,696.47. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 275,574 shares in the company, valued at $24,137,526.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 6,657 shares of company stock worth $585,944 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 12.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 10.0% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 307,891 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $24,019,000 after purchasing an additional 28,066 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 415,094 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,383,000 after purchasing an additional 8,178 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 9.0% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 33,244 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,593,000 after purchasing an additional 2,744 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 20.0% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 53,512 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,174,000 after purchasing an additional 8,904 shares during the period. Finally, Zebra Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Stepan by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC now owns 12,451 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $971,000 after purchasing an additional 1,111 shares during the period. 67.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Stepan Company Profile

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products. The Surfactants segment offers surfactants that are used as principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, including detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, and floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes; and other applications, such as fabric softeners, germicidal quaternary compounds, and lubricating ingredients.

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