Walthausen & Co. LLC cut its stake in shares of Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 16.8% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 41,913 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 8,435 shares during the quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC owned approximately 0.19% of Stepan worth $4,294,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Mine & Arao Wealth Creation & Management LLC. bought a new position in Stepan during the fourth quarter worth $26,000. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 189.0% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 341 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new position in shares of Stepan in the fourth quarter valued at $41,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Stepan by 200.0% in the third quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 900 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $87,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV bought a new position in shares of Stepan in the fourth quarter valued at $207,000. 76.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
NYSE SCL traded up $3.59 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $85.39. 94,800 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 133,320. Stepan has a 1 year low of $69.33 and a 1 year high of $105.87. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $92.09 and its 200-day simple moving average is $96.90. The company has a quick ratio of 1.81, a current ratio of 2.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.28 and a beta of 1.30.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 5th were paid a $0.275 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 4th. This represents a $1.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.29%. Stepan’s payout ratio is 21.48%.
In other Stepan news, VP David Kabbes bought 2,222 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $71.67 per share, for a total transaction of $159,250.74. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now directly owns 2,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $203,041.11. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 11.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on SCL shares. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their price objective on shares of Stepan from $115.00 to $107.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. CL King started coverage on shares of Stepan in a research note on Wednesday, March 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 25th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Stepan in a report on Thursday, February 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.80.
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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