Slow and Steady Stock Winning the Race

It’s very difficult to find any stocks in this market that are actually going up in value. With the exception of those days when government announces big bailout packages, the market is still very much in bear market territory.

The S&P 500 Index has broken my psychologically important level of 1,200 and I don’t know where this is going to lead. The last few days have been exceptional in terms of government intervention and, therefore, the equity market indices are skewed.

I’m thrilled that, even in the face of such terrible investor sentiment, some stocks are doing very well.

One company that’s really outperforming right now is Balchem Corporation (NASDAQ/BCPC), which I wrote about in this column in April, July and August.

Balchem is based in New Hampton, NY, and specializes in selling ingredients for the food, nutritional, feed, pharmaceutical, and medical industries worldwide. This company is highly specialized in that it sells sophisticated chemical and nutrients that go in foods, feed supplies, and products that help sterilize surgical equipment. Balchem has four main business lines: ARC Specialty Products, Food, Pharma & Human Nutrition, BCP Ingredients Inc., and Animal Nutrition & Health.

According to the company, in its latest quarter ended June 30, 2008, revenues grew to a record sixty-three million dollars, up some 42% from revenues of just over forty-four million dollars generated in the comparable quarter last year. This growth was due to a combination of organic sales growth and acquisitions.

Net income also grew to a record $4.7 million, representing an increase of 16% over net income last year.

Like many companies, Balchem has to deal with higher raw material costs, but management says that it is able to pass on these higher costs to customers. Higher prices don’t seem to be affecting customer demand.

This stock is a real showcase in my mind. The stock is up almost 50% over the last while and, in spite of all the noise in the broader market, it has ticked higher, slowly and methodically. Sometimes, slow and steady wins the race — especially in bear markets.