Reviewing Balchem (NASDAQ:BCPC) & Livent (NASDAQ:LTHM)

Balchem (NASDAQ:BCPC) and Livent (NYSE:LTHM) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

86.4% of Balchem shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.8% of Livent shares are held by institutional investors. 1.4% of Balchem shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Livent shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Balchem and Livent’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Balchem $643.71 million 5.03 $79.67 million $3.19 31.43
Livent $388.40 million 2.36 $50.20 million $0.42 14.93

Balchem has higher revenue and earnings than Livent. Livent is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Balchem, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Balchem and Livent’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Balchem 12.20% 14.30% 9.43%
Livent 8.76% 8.52% 5.73%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Balchem and Livent, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Balchem 0 1 1 0 2.50
Livent 1 8 1 0 2.00

Balchem currently has a consensus target price of $102.00, indicating a potential upside of 1.74%. Livent has a consensus target price of $6.64, indicating a potential upside of 5.95%. Given Livent’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Livent is more favorable than Balchem.

Risk and Volatility

Balchem has a beta of 0.61, meaning that its stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Livent has a beta of 2.07, meaning that its stock price is 107% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Balchem beats Livent on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

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. Its products include creamer and chocolate systems, dairy replacers, powdered fats, nutritional beverage bases, beverages, juice and dairy bases, ice cream bases and variegates, cereals, grain based snacks, and cereal based ingredients. This segment also offers microencapsulation solutions; and human grade choline nutrients and mineral amino acid chelated products for wellness applications. Its Animal Nutrition & Health segment provides microencapsulated products to enhance health and milk production in ruminant animals; chelation technology, which offers enhanced nutrient absorption for various species of production and companion animals; and choline chloride, a nutrient for monogastric animal health. The company's Specialty Products segment offers ethylene oxide primarily for use in the health care industry; and single use canisters with ethylene oxide for sterilizing re-usable devices. It also sells propylene oxide, a fumigant to aid in the control of insects and microbiological spoilage, as well as to reduce bacterial and mold contamination in shell and processed nut meats, processed spices, cacao beans, cocoa powder, raisins, figs, and prunes; and chelated minerals for high value crops. The company's Industrial Products segment provides choline chloride derivatives for hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas wells; and methylamines, which are building blocks for the manufacture of choline products, as well as used in industrial applications. The company sells its products through sales force, independent distributors, and sales agents. Balchem Corporation was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in New Hampton, New York.

About Livent

Livent Corporation manufactures and sells performance lithium compounds that are used primarily in energy storage, specialty polymers, and chemical synthesis application. The company offers lithium compounds for use in applications that have specific performance requirements, including battery-grade lithium hydroxide for use in high performance lithium-ion batteries; and supplies butyllithium, which is used as a synthesizer in the production of polymers and pharmaceutical products, as well as a range of specialty lithium compounds, including high purity lithium metal, which is used in the production of lightweight materials for aerospace applications and non-rechargeable batteries. Livent Corporation was incorporated in 2018 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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