Equities research analysts predict that Stepan (NYSE:SCL) will post sales of $501.20 million for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have issued estimates for Stepan’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $488.70 million to $513.70 million. Stepan posted sales of $508.00 million in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 1.3%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd.

On average, analysts expect that Stepan will report full year sales of $1.94 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $1.92 billion to $1.97 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $2.08 billion, with estimates ranging from $2.01 billion to $2.16 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Stepan.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 24th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by $0.19. Stepan had a net margin of 5.39% and a return on equity of 14.19%. The firm had revenue of $473.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $519.20 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.38 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several equities research analysts have commented on SCL shares. Scotiabank lowered shares of Stepan to a “sector underperform” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, August 13th. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Stepan in a report on Wednesday, July 3rd. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $21.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on shares of Stepan from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 24th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.14.

In other news, VP Sean Thomas Moriarty sold 3,418 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.97, for a total transaction of $338,279.46. Following the sale, 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 filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 3,232 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.16, for a total transaction of $310,789.12. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 15,219 shares in the company, valued at $1,463,459.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 21,180 shares of company stock worth $2,074,308. 11.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SCL. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan during the 2nd quarter worth about $22,128,000. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 322.1% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 239,248 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $21,989,000 after acquiring an additional 182,561 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 42.9% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 141,790 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,033,000 after acquiring an additional 42,601 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 11.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 356,285 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,747,000 after acquiring an additional 36,756 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan during the 2nd quarter worth about $2,987,000. 74.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:SCL traded down $0.43 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $96.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 76,399 shares, compared to its average volume of 86,034. Stepan has a 1 year low of $69.17 and a 1 year high of $101.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 2.69 and a quick ratio of 1.97. The stock has a market cap of $2.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.83 and a beta of 1.30. The business’s fifty day moving average is $95.50 and its two-hundred day moving average is $91.44.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 30th were issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 29th. Stepan’s payout ratio is 20.49%.

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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