Top Five Small-Cap Stocks: Balchem
Our buy rating for American Physicians has not changed since November 2004. The company exhibits several positive investment measures, such as increasing net income, impressive earnings-per-share growth and solid stock-price performance. For the first quarter of fiscal 2008, net income increased 8% year over year to $11.4 million. Although revenue fell 11% from the year-ago quarter, an increase in EPS indicates that the decline did not hurt the company's bottom line. EPS rose to $1.13 in the most recent quarter from 90 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. American Physicians' current debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12 is very low, implying successful management debt levels. Finally, the company's strong earnings growth has contributed to an increase in stock price over the past year.
Management estimates earnings of at least $4.25 a share for fiscal 2008, based on current trends in frequency, severity and pricing. However, should these trends fail to continue through fiscal 2009, the company's future financial performance could be negatively affected.
Pericom Semiconductor (PSEM) designs, develops and markets high-performance interface integrated circuits and frequency control products used in advanced electronic systems. Interface ICs transfer, route and time electrical signals among a system's microprocessor, memory and various peripherals and between interconnected systems. FCPs are electronic components used as time and frequency clocks in electronic products ranging from computers and telecommunications switching equipment to cell phones and televisions. Pericom's interface products increase system bandwidth.
We have rated Pericom a buy since February 2007. The company reported that its earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 surged 58% year over year, bolstered by strong demand for its products. Aided by strong demand for products used in digital video high-performance PCs and servers, total revenue for the quarter climbed 36% to $41.2 million, vs. $30.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income increased to $4.1 million, or 16 cents a share, from $2.6 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago. The company expanded its Digital Video solutions by launching two new switches that allow next generation computing platforms using dual function graphics ports to be switched between either of the high speed protocols. Pericom also launched three new signal-conditioning products and expanded its Timing portfolio.
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