Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $66.79 and last traded at $66.65, with a volume of 27,264 shares. The stock had previously closed at $65.71.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on SCL. Zacks Investment Research raised Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Seaport Global Securities lowered Stepan from an “accumulate” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the company from $61.00 to $63.00 in a research note on Tuesday, May 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $54.00.

The stock has a market capitalization of $1.49 billion and a PE ratio of 16.34. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $61.60 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.67.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $454.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $453.45 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.91 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Stepan Co. will post $4.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 29th.

In other Stepan news, VP Gregory Servatius sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.20, for a total transaction of $61,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 24,674 shares in the company, valued at $1,510,048.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.19, for a total transaction of $114,082.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 56,489 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,682,517.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Stepan by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 126,037 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,263,000 after buying an additional 5,378 shares in the last quarter. Matarin Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Stepan during the fourth quarter worth approximately $5,567,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. boosted its position in shares of Stepan by 66.0% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 78,349 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,894,000 after buying an additional 31,149 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Stepan by 875.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 53,973 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,681,000 after buying an additional 48,440 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Stepan by 37.4% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 48,259 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,398,000 after buying an additional 13,134 shares in the last quarter.

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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