Stepan (NYSE:SCL) Expected to Announce Earnings of $0.88 Per Share

Brokerages predict that Stepan (NYSE:SCL) will post earnings of $0.88 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Stepan’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.86 to $0.90. Stepan reported earnings of $1.02 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 13.7%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, February 20th.

On average, analysts expect that Stepan will report full-year earnings of $4.89 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.87 to $4.91. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $5.20 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.17 to $5.23. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Stepan.

Stepan (NYSE:SCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The basic materials company reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $451.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $489.40 million. Stepan had a return on equity of 14.10% and a net margin of 5.75%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.11 EPS.

SCL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on Stepan from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Scotiabank lowered Stepan to a “sector underperform” rating and set a $20.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, August 13th. ValuEngine lowered Stepan from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.20.

In other Stepan news, VP Arthur W. Mergner sold 3,232 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.16, for a total transaction of $310,789.12. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 15,219 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,463,459.04. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Frank Pacholec sold 2,383 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.23, for a total value of $231,699.09. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 34,726 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,376,408.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 8,866 shares of company stock worth $865,893 over the last ninety days. 11.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SCL. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan in the second quarter worth about $22,128,000. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 322.1% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 239,248 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $21,989,000 after buying an additional 182,561 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 42.9% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 141,790 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,033,000 after buying an additional 42,601 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of Stepan by 11.5% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 356,285 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,747,000 after buying an additional 36,756 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Stepan in the second quarter worth about $2,987,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.27% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:SCL traded down $1.59 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $95.81. 70,600 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 83,181. The company has a fifty day moving average of $96.79 and a 200 day moving average of $93.65. Stepan has a twelve month low of $69.17 and a twelve month high of $101.84. The company has a market capitalization of $2.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.63 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a current ratio of 2.72.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 13th. Investors of record on Friday, November 29th will be given a dividend of $0.275 per share. This is a positive change from Stepan’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 27th. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.49%.

About Stepan

Stepan Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty and intermediate chemicals to other manufacturers for use in various end products in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products.

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