Walthausen & Co. LLC Trims Stock Position in Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

Walthausen & Co. LLC reduced its stake in shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 16.8% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 41,913 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 8,435 shares during the quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC’s holdings in Stepan were worth $4,294,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Mine & Arao Wealth Creation & Management LLC. purchased a new position in Stepan during the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. FMR LLC increased its position in Stepan by 189.0% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 341 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 223 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P. purchased a new position in Stepan during the 4th quarter valued at $41,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. increased its position in Stepan by 200.0% during the 3rd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 900 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $87,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Finally, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV purchased a new position in Stepan during the 4th quarter valued at $207,000. 76.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. CL King assumed coverage on shares of Stepan in a report on Wednesday, March 18th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Seaport Global Securities restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Stepan in a report on Thursday, February 20th. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their target price on shares of Stepan from $115.00 to $107.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.80.

In other Stepan news, VP David Kabbes bought 2,222 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 12th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $71.67 per share, for a total transaction of $159,250.74. Following the acquisition, the vice president now owns 2,833 shares in the company, valued at approximately $203,041.11. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 11.40% of the company’s stock.

Shares of SCL stock traded up $3.59 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $85.39. 94,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 133,320. Stepan has a 12 month low of $69.33 and a 12 month high of $105.87. The company has a market cap of $1.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.28 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a quick ratio of 1.81, a current ratio of 2.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $92.09 and its 200-day moving average price is $96.90.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.22. Stepan had a net margin of 5.55% and a return on equity of 13.89%. The firm had revenue of $444.99 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $441.45 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.02 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Stepan will post 4.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 5th were issued a dividend of $0.275 per share. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 4th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.48%.

Stepan Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Stepan (NYSE:SCL)

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