Ever hear of Stepan Company (SCL)? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
It’s actually a good-sized outfit; $1.4 billion in market cap and a member of the S&P 600.
Here’s a description from Hoover’s:
Company secrets aside, makers of laundry detergents, shampoos, toothpaste, and other personal care products can come clean with Stepan Company. Surfactants, the company’s largest sector by far, are chemicals most commonly used as cleaning agents used in consumer products like detergents, toothpastes, and cosmetics. Stepan’s surfactants are also used in commercial and industrial applications ranging from emulsifiers for agricultural insecticides to agents used in oil recovery. The company also makes phthalic anhydride (an acid used in making polyester resins) and other polymers, as well as specialty chemicals for food and pharmaceutical uses.
Sexy, no? Phthalic anhydride!
The stock is almost completely ignored by Wall Street. Just two analysts follow it. Outside of its quarterly earnings report, Stepan generates almost no news.
Each day, about one-quarter of one percent of Stepan’s shares are traded. Facebook’s (FB) volume is about 5% of its float.
My point is that Stepan is about as dull as dirt, and that’s why I’m a fan (though I’m not saying I’m recommending the stock).
But what I really like about Stepan happened two months ago when the company raised its quarterly dividend from 16 to 17 cents per share. This marks the 46th year in a row that Stepan has increased its quarterly dividend.
On the company’s website, they list all the dividend increases going back to 1967. In the last 40 years, the dividend has grown by more than 40 fold.
I love these boring companies that everyone else overlooks.