Our buy rating for Balchem has not changed since June 2003. The company reported record quarterly results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Balchem achieved net sales of $56.9 million, reflecting a 35% increase compared with the same quarter one year prior. Net earnings also increased 35% year over year to $4.6 million. As a result, the company's earnings per share increased 32% to 25 cents from 19 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Management reported that the integration of several acquisitions made during fiscal 2007 have gone well, and stated that the first-quarter results did not yet reflect the company's full expectations for those acquisitions. Additionally, management noted again that rising raw-material costs are expected to remain a challenge for Balchem in the near term. While the company has taken pricing steps to counteract the effects of these increased input costs, the actions taken in the first quarter did not offset all the cost increases, primarily due to timing. Overall, management expects the remainder of fiscal 2008 to continue to bring double-digit increases in sales and earnings. Bear in mind, however, that global economic issues could affect results.

Exponent ( EXPO) is a science and engineering consulting firm whose multidisciplinary team of scientists, physicians, engineers and business and regulatory consultants brings together more than 70 different technical disciplines to solve complicated issues facing industry and businesses. Its professional staff can perform in-depth scientific research and analysis or very rapid-response evaluations to provide clients with information.

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