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Our buy rating for Balchem has not changed since June 2003. The company's strengths can be seen in such areas as impressive revenue growth, solid stock-price performance, and net income growth. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, revenue more than doubled year over year. This growth appears to have trickled down to the bottom line, as earnings per share improved 27% in the same period. Net income also increased by 29% to $4.16 million. Powered by its strong earnings growth and other factors, this stock has surged 28% over the past year.
For fiscal 2007, management was pleased with the integrations of two earlier acquisitions, Chinook and Akzo, and it expects those acquisitions to continue to contribute positively to Balchem's earnings. However, management also expects rising raw material costs to be a challenge in the near term.
While the company has taken pricing steps to counteract the effects of these increased input costs, such actions in the fourth quarter were not enough to offset them completely. Additional price increases were made effective in January 2008, and management therefore expects fiscal 2008 to see continuing improvements in sales and earnings, while cautioning that global economic issues could affect the company's results.
Hooker Furniture (HOFT) imports and manufactures furniture for residential use. Founded in 1925, the company is one of the few furniture firms still led by a member of its founding family.Hooker's principal customers are retailers of residential home furniture located throughout North America. These customers include independent furniture stores, specialty retailers, department stores, catalog merchants and national and regional chains. The furniture is marketed under the Hooker Furniture and Bradington-Young brand names. More recently, the company purchased Sam Moore Furniture, a Virginia-based specialist in quality occasional chairs. Hooker also imports products from China, the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, Honduras and Guatemala. These products are all designed by Hooker to conform to the company's standards. The company has about 1,000 employees.
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