Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lessened its holdings in Stepan (NYSE:SCL) by 19.4% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 1,211 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 292 shares during the quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank’s holdings in Stepan were worth $106,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Burney Co. grew its holdings in Stepan by 9.7% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 6,754 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $500,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Stepan during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $35,800,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in Stepan by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 174,914 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $12,944,000 after purchasing an additional 2,326 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its position in Stepan by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 49,384 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,654,000 after purchasing an additional 5,754 shares during the period. Finally, O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Stepan by 3.6% during the fourth quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 21,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,584,000 after purchasing an additional 744 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.99% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE SCL traded up $1.47 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $85.54. The stock had a trading volume of 53,558 shares, compared to its average volume of 90,120. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 2.74 and a quick ratio of 2.01. The stock has a market cap of $1.93 billion, a PE ratio of 17.53 and a beta of 1.27. Stepan has a 12-month low of $69.17 and a 12-month high of $95.32.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 31st will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 30th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.17%. Stepan’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.49%.
Several research analysts have weighed in on SCL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Stepan from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Stepan from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $79.50.
In other news, VP Scott R. Behrens sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.24, for a total value of $182,480.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,768 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,256,192.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Luis Rojo acquired 300 shares of Stepan stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $86.64 per share, with a total value of $25,992.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 1,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $164,616. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders bought 1,500 shares of company stock valued at $133,021 and sold 20,128 shares valued at $1,865,444. Corporate insiders own 11.40% of the company’s stock.
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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 in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Surfactants, Polymers, and Specialty Products.
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