ValuEngine Downgrades Stepan (NYSE:SCL) to Hold

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on shares of Stepan in a research report on Wednesday, July 3rd. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $21.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Stepan presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $67.80.

Shares of Stepan stock traded down $0.48 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $96.10. The company had a trading volume of 73,865 shares, compared to its average volume of 73,719. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.24 billion, a PE ratio of 19.69 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a current ratio of 2.69, a quick ratio of 2.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $92.80. Stepan has a 12-month low of $69.17 and a 12-month high of $101.84.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 24th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $473.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $519.20 million. Stepan had a net margin of 5.39% and a return on equity of 14.19%. Stepan’s revenue was down 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.38 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Stepan will post 5.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Stepan news, VP Sean Thomas Moriarty sold 3,418 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.97, for a total transaction of $338,279.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 5,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $502,272.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 7,090 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.70, for a total transaction of $699,783.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 12,355 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,219,438.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have acquired 750 shares of company stock valued at $65,488 and have sold 15,643 shares valued at $1,519,392. Company insiders own 11.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Stepan during the 4th quarter worth approximately $35,800,000. Hennessy Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Stepan during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $2,987,000. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 25.4% during the 1st quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 106,302 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,304,000 after purchasing an additional 21,540 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 15.4% during the 1st quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 159,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,988,000 after purchasing an additional 21,325 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Stepan by 6.2% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 274,456 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $20,309,000 after purchasing an additional 15,923 shares during the period. 71.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Stepan

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products.

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