Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC increased its stake in shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 42.0% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 3,759 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,111 shares during the quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC’s holdings in Stepan were worth $314,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCL. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 455.2% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,177 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 965 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Stepan by 224.9% during the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,589 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 17.6% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,254 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $196,000 after purchasing an additional 337 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank increased its position in Stepan by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 2,757 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $240,000 after purchasing an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in Stepan by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 3,275 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $285,000 after purchasing an additional 146 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.19% of the company’s stock.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) opened at $78.82 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 2.64 and a quick ratio of 2.08. Stepan has a 12-month low of $68.51 and a 12-month high of $92.97. The stock has a market cap of $1,774.10, a P/E ratio of 19.12 and a beta of 1.30.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings results 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $469.75 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 30th were given a $0.225 dividend. This is a boost from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 29th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is 23.32%.
In other news, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.16, for a total value of $81,160.00. Following the sale, 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 SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 832 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.55, for a total transaction of $67,017.60. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 49,429 shares in the company, valued at $3,981,505.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 2,650 shares of company stock valued at $215,793. Corporate insiders own 13.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on SCL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, September 16th. TD Securities reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Stepan in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. National Bank Financial upgraded shares of Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $27.00 to $35.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Scotiabank upgraded 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 report on Tuesday, November 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $35.60.
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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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