Texas Permanent School Fund grew its holdings in Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 4.0% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 13,261 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 507 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund’s holdings in Stepan were worth $981,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Howe & Rusling Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Stepan in the 4th quarter valued at $85,000. Girard Partners LTD. acquired a new position in shares of Stepan in the 3rd quarter valued at $103,000. First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new position in shares of Stepan in the 4th quarter valued at $93,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of Stepan in the 3rd quarter valued at $246,000. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Stepan in the 3rd quarter valued at $276,000. 70.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
SCL stock opened at $89.03 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.37, a quick ratio of 1.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.24 and a beta of 1.29. Stepan has a 12-month low of $68.09 and a 12-month high of $95.32.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Monday, March 4th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 1st. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.49%.
In related news, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 12,889 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.83, for a total value of $1,209,374.87. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 202,576 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,007,706.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 1,038 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.01, for a total value of $93,430.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 16,444 shares of company stock worth $1,524,148 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 12.60% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms recently issued reports on SCL. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Stepan in a report on Monday, December 10th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $94.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Stepan presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.50.
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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.
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