State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) by 11.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 14,352 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,500 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System owned about 0.06% of Stepan worth $854,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SCL. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Stepan by 4.6% in the first quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 28,296 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,564,000 after buying an additional 1,239 shares during the last quarter. Bogle Investment Management L P DE purchased a new position in shares of Stepan during the first quarter worth $347,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Stepan by 29.0% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 72,203 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,992,000 after buying an additional 16,247 shares during the last quarter. AXA raised its position in shares of Stepan by 12.5% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 47,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,610,000 after buying an additional 5,260 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Stepan during the first quarter worth $202,000. Institutional investors own 59.84% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) traded up 1.83% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $72.88. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 122,449 shares. The company has a market cap of $1.63 billion, a PE ratio of 17.90 and a beta of 1.22. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $69.99 and a 200-day moving average of $61.96. Stepan Co. has a 12-month low of $40.72 and a 12-month high of $73.88.
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.14. Stepan had a return on equity of 16.78% and a net margin of 5.29%. The firm had revenue of $454.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.45 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Stepan Co. will post ($0.35) EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 31st were issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.67%.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on SCL. Seaport Global Securities raised their price objective on Stepan from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. TD Securities decreased their price objective on Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 12th. Finally, National Bank Financial raised Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $32.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.60.
In related news, VP Gregory Servatius sold 3,534 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $220,309.56. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 24,731 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,541,730.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 32,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.46, for a total value of $2,030,720.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 157,247 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,978,894.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 14.40% 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 variety of end products. The Company has three segments: Surfactants, Polymers and Specialty Products. The Company’s Surfactants segment offers products, which are principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, such as detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes.
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