Landscape Capital Management L.L.C. bought a new position in Stepan (NYSE:SCL) in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor bought 3,577 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $282,000.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCL. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Stepan in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $350,000. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 26.9% during the 3rd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 13,149 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,100,000 after buying an additional 2,786 shares during the period. Stevens Capital Management LP grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 19.3% during the 3rd quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP now owns 8,313 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $695,000 after buying an additional 1,342 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 26.3% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 68,670 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,745,000 after buying an additional 14,302 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 46.7% during the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 10,322 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $864,000 after buying an additional 3,287 shares during the period. 65.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
SCL has been the subject of several research reports. National Bank Financial boosted their price objective on shares of Stepan from $35.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Scotiabank raised shares of Stepan from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.60.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The basic materials company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.39. Stepan had a net margin of 4.76% and a return on equity of 15.20%. The firm had revenue of $473.82 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $457.95 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.52 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Stepan will post 5.17 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 5th will be issued a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 2nd. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.96%.
In other Stepan news, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 35,766 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.71, for a total value of $2,922,439.86. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Gregory Servatius sold 2,479 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.22, for a total transaction of $211,260.38. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 48,620 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,143,396.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 40,289 shares of company stock worth $3,291,599 in the last quarter. 13.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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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