Stepan (SCL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

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 Stepan from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, July 20th.

NYSE:SCL traded down $2.34 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $82.64. The stock had a trading volume of 69,208 shares, compared to its average volume of 83,802. The company has a quick ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 2.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. Stepan has a 1-year low of $68.09 and a 1-year high of $90.96. The company has a market capitalization of $1.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.77 and a beta of 1.20.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates 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 company earned $1.32 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Stepan will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director F Quinn Stepan sold 3,433 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.59, for a total transaction of $300,696.47. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 275,574 shares in the company, valued at $24,137,526.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 699 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.59, for a total value of $61,225.41. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 36,782 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,221,735.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 6,657 shares of company stock valued at $585,944 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 12.60% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 6.7% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,810,899 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $219,279,000 after acquiring an additional 176,940 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,086,248 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $84,738,000 after buying an additional 29,481 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted 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 valued at $32,383,000 after buying an additional 8,178 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted 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 valued at $24,019,000 after buying an additional 28,066 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 299,940 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $24,949,000 after buying an additional 1,293 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.49% of the company’s stock.

About Stepan

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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