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Balchem Corporation's (NASDAQ:BCPC) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Balchem's (NASDAQ:BCPC) stock is up by a considerable 17% over the past three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Balchem's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Balchem

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Balchem is:

10% = US$83m ÷ US$819m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.10 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

Balchem's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To begin with, Balchem seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 10% the company's ROE looks quite decent. This probably goes some way in explaining Balchem's moderate 8.5% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.

We then performed a comparison between Balchem's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 7.2% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Balchem is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Balchem Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Balchem's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 19% (implying that it retains 81% of its income), which is on the lower side, so it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business.

Moreover, Balchem is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Balchem's performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.