Stepan Company (SCL) Stock Rating Upgraded by Scotiabank

Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) was upgraded by analysts at Scotiabank from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $32.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock. Scotiabank’s price target suggests a potential downside of 60.00% from the company’s previous close.

SCL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. National Bank Financial boosted their price target on Stepan from $35.00 to $36.00 in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. TD Securities reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price on shares of Stepan in a report on Sunday, September 24th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Stepan in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on Stepan from $42.00 to $36.00 in a report on Monday, August 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.60.

Shares of Stepan (NYSE SCL) traded up $0.56 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $80.01. The stock had a trading volume of 53,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 73,773. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,790.00, a PE ratio of 19.28 and a beta of 1.28. Stepan has a one year low of $68.51 and a one year high of $92.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a quick ratio of 2.08 and a current ratio of 2.64.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by ($0.17). Stepan had a net margin of 4.81% and a return on equity of 13.98%. The business had revenue of $487.81 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $469.75 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.06 EPS. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.16, for a total transaction of $81,160.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,960 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $240,233.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 667 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.64, for a total value of $51,785.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 3,266 shares in the company, valued at $253,572.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 7,371 shares of company stock worth $588,987 over the last three months. Insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. OxFORD Asset Management LLP increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 71.1% in the 3rd quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 5,612 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $470,000 after purchasing an additional 2,333 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,039,062 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $86,928,000 after purchasing an additional 27,413 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 4.0% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 153,213 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $12,818,000 after purchasing an additional 5,892 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 384.9% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 89,024 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,448,000 after purchasing an additional 70,664 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 33.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 97,933 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,224,000 after purchasing an additional 24,579 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.91% of the company’s stock.

Stepan Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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