Balchem Co. (NASDAQ:BCPC) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Balchem Co. (NASDAQ:BCPC) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 815,200 shares, a growth of 15.7% from the June 30th total of 704,300 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 109,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.4 days. Approximately 2.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Pivotal Research downgraded shares of Balchem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, May 6th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Balchem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Balchem from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Finally, HC Wainwright reissued a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price (down previously from $110.00) on shares of Balchem in a research note on Monday, August 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $108.75.

NASDAQ BCPC traded down $1.44 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $88.56. 1,157 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 115,764. Balchem has a one year low of $73.16 and a one year high of $117.79. The company has a 50 day moving average of $96.28. The stock has a market cap of $2.83 billion, a PE ratio of 29.59 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 2.63 and a current ratio of 3.73.

Balchem (NASDAQ:BCPC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.08. Balchem had a net margin of 12.27% and a return on equity of 13.87%. The business had revenue of $161.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $163.14 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.76 earnings per share. Balchem’s quarterly revenue was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Balchem will post 2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Scott C. Mason bought 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $84.74 per share, with a total value of $254,220.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now directly owns 12,524 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,061,283.76. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 1.28% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First National Bank of Omaha increased its stake in Balchem by 0.7% in the first quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 17,272 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,603,000 after purchasing an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in Balchem by 0.3% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 49,787 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,620,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its stake in Balchem by 1.3% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 11,007 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,100,000 after purchasing an additional 143 shares in the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank increased its stake in Balchem by 68.0% in the first quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 153 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Balchem by 3.2% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 5,088 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $509,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares in the last quarter. 86.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Balchem

Balchem Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets specialty performance ingredients and products for the food, nutritional, feed, pharmaceutical, medical sterilization, and industrial markets in the United States and internationally. The company's Human Nutrition & Health segment supplies ingredients in the food and beverage industry.

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