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Stepan Q2 Profit Skyrockets 63 Percent
Wednesday July 20, 9:57 am ET

Stepan Second-Quarter Profit Surges 63 Percent on Strong Polymer, Lathering Agent Sales

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Stepan Co., a maker of cleaning agents used in toothpaste and detergents, said Wednesday that second-quarter profit rose 63 percent on strong sales of polymers and lathering agents.

The company said quarterly income grew to $6.2 million, or 64 cents per share, from $3.8 million, or 39 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $278.4 million from $236.3 million last year, with favorable currency rates contributing to 2 percent of the increase.

Sales of surfactants, or compounds that reduce surface tension and promote lathering, grew 33 percent to $207.1 million on higher volume, while polymer sales climbed 33 percent to $64.2 million from last year on higher selling prices because of raw material costs.

The company forecast continued improvement over last year's results. In 2004, Stepan posted earnings of 45 cents per share on revenue of $935.8 million.

"The improvement in polymer earnings is expected to continue for the balance of the year on higher volume," said F. Quinn Stepan, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "Surfactant sales mix is projected to improve and biodiesel demand is very strong."

Stepan shares were up 78 cents, or 3.2 percent, at $25.38 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: Associated Press

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