Financial Contrast: Stepan (SCL) versus SYMRISE AG/ADR (SYIEY)

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) and SYMRISE AG/ADR (OTCMKTS:SYIEY) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.


Stepan pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. SYMRISE AG/ADR pays an annual dividend of $0.17 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Stepan pays out 21.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Stepan has raised its dividend for 50 consecutive years. Stepan is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Stepan and SYMRISE AG/ADR, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Stepan 0 2 1 0 2.33
SYMRISE AG/ADR 1 0 0 0 1.00

Stepan currently has a consensus price target of $72.00, suggesting a potential downside of 6.80%. Given Stepan’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Stepan is more favorable than SYMRISE AG/ADR.


This table compares Stepan and SYMRISE AG/ADR’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Stepan 4.78% 15.02% 7.78%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

67.8% of Stepan shares are held by institutional investors. 12.6% of Stepan shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Stepan and SYMRISE AG/ADR’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Stepan $1.93 billion 0.90 $91.57 million $4.65 16.61
SYMRISE AG/ADR $3.38 billion N/A $305.48 million N/A N/A

SYMRISE AG/ADR has higher revenue and earnings than Stepan.


Stepan beats SYMRISE AG/ADR on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Stepan

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products. The Surfactants segment offers surfactants that are used as principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, including detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, and floors and walls, as well as shampoos and body washes; and other applications, such as fabric softeners, germicidal quaternary compounds, and lubricating ingredients. Its surfactants are also used in various applications, such as emulsifiers for spreading agricultural products; and industrial applications comprising latex systems, plastics, and composites. The Polymers segment provides polyurethane polyols that are used in the manufacture of rigid foam for thermal insulation in the construction industry, as well as a base raw material for coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers (CASE); polyester resins, including liquid and powdered resins, which are used in CASE applications; and phthalic anhydride that is used in unsaturated polyester resins, alkyd resins, and plasticizers for applications in construction materials and components of automotive, boating, and other consumer products. The Specialty Products segment offers flavors, emulsifiers, and solubilizers for use in the food, flavoring, nutritional supplement, and pharmaceutical applications. The company was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Northfield, Illinois.


Symrise AG develops, produces, and sells fragrances, flavorings, and cosmetic ingredients. It operates through three segments: Scent & Care, Flavor, and Nutrition. The Scent & Care segment develops, produces, and sells fragrance ingredients and compositions, cosmetic ingredients, and mint flours, as well as specific application processes for such substances. This segment's products are used by manufacturer of perfumes, personal care and cosmetic products, cleaning products, detergents, air fresheners, and oral care products. The Flavor segment develops, produces, and sells flavors and functional ingredients used in the production of foods, beverages, and health products. The Nutrition segments develops, produces, and sells functional ingredients and other solutions for use in foods, beverages, pet foods, aquacultures, and cosmetics. It operates in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America, the Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Symrise AG was founded in 1874 and is headquartered in Holzminden, Germany.

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