Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $68.00 and last traded at $67.51, with a volume of 31,766 shares. The stock had previously closed at $67.65.

SCL has been the subject of several recent research reports. TD Securities dropped their price target on Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities downgraded Stepan from an “accumulate” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $61.00 to $63.00 in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Stepan currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $49.75.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.49 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.35.

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

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

In other news, VP Gregory Servatius sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.40, for a total transaction of $61,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 24,674 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,514,983.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Scott C. Mason sold 6,070 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.45, for a total value of $409,421.50. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 21,972 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,482,011.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors recently made changes to their positions in SCL. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Stepan during the fourth quarter worth approximately $5,567,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake 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 during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake 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 during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. increased its stake 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 during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in shares of Stepan by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 31,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,580,000 after buying an additional 855 shares during the period.

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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