Stepan Co. (NYSE:SCL) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $71.98 and last traded at $71.21, with a volume of 50,438 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $71.27.

SCL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. TD Securities cut their target price on Stepan from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Seaport Global Securities raised their target price on Stepan from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 24th. Finally, National Bank Financial raised Stepan from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $32.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.60.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $67.07 and its 200 day moving average price is $59.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.60 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.52.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.14. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. The company earned $454.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $453.45 million. Stepan’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Stepan Co. will post $4.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In related news, VP Frank Pacholec sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $105,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 52,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,709,230. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Scott C. Mason sold 6,070 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 21,972 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,482,011.40. 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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