Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $71.33 and last traded at $70.67, with a volume of 51,600 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $70.61.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on SCL shares. National Bank Financial raised shares of Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $37.00 in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 8th. TD Securities reduced their price objective on shares of Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 12th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities upped their target price on shares of Stepan from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.60.

The firm has a market cap of $1.58 billion and a PE ratio of 17.39. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $64.93 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.10.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.14. The firm earned $454.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $453.45 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.91 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Stepan Co. will post $4.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 31st will be issued a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 29th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.07%.

In related news, VP Gregory Servatius sold 1,000 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.40, for a total value of $61,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 24,674 shares in the company, valued at $1,514,983.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 32,000 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.46, for a total value of $2,030,720.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 157,247 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,978,894.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

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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