Headlines about Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) have trended positive on Saturday, according to AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis. The research firm, a unit of Accern, identifies positive and negative media coverage by monitoring more than 20 million news and blog sources. AlphaOne ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Stepan Company earned a media sentiment score of 0.35 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned news headlines about the basic materials company an impact score of 100 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is extremely likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next several days.
Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on SCL shares. Wellington Shields upgraded shares of Stepan Company from a “hold” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research note on Friday, February 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Stepan Company from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $57.40.
Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.36 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $468.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $461.70 million. Stepan Company had a net margin of 5.03% and a return on equity of 16.74%. The company’s revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.29 earnings per share.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 30th will be given a $0.205 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 25th. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.99%. Stepan Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 21.19%.
In other news, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 1,017 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.44, for a total value of $80,790.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,045 shares in the company, valued at $639,094.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman F Quinn Stepan, Jr. sold 5,381 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.15, for a total transaction of $458,192.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 141,952 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,087,212.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 51,893 shares of company stock valued at $4,417,054 over the last 90 days. 14.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
About Stepan Company
Stepan Company produces specialty and intermediate chemicals, which are sold to other manufacturers and used in a range of end products. The Company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers and Specialty Products. The Company’s principal markets include manufacturers of cleaning and washing compounds (including detergents, shampoos, fabric softeners, toothpastes and household cleaners), paints, cosmetics, food, beverages, nutritional supplements, agricultural products and plastics.
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