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Chemical Industry

Chemical producer Stepan reports lower profits in 2014

Stepan, the Northfield-based producer of specialty chemicals used in consumer and manufacturing products, reported fourth-quarter and year-end results Wednesday morning. The company's profit tumbled much lower than Wall Street predicted. Stepan also declared an 18-cents-per-share quarterly cash dividend on its common stock. It's the 47th year that Stepan has paid a higher dividend, according to company officials. Here's how the year played out and a bit on what's to come: Profit: Fourth-quarter earnings fell more than 41 percent to $6.2 million from $10.6 million a year earlier. For the year, the company said, 2014 earnings fell to $57.1 million or $2.49 per share...