That loud crash you may have heard on Friday could have been the result of Aceto's
OK, so maybe the crash wasn't all that loud. The specialty chemicals company, after all, is a just a small player in an industry dominated by such behemoths as Dow Chemical
Still, despite the fact that the firm hails, ironically, from Lake Success, N.Y., Aceto shed more than 25% of its value on Friday, after reporting net income of $2.8 million, a sum it doled out to investors at a clip of $0.11 per share.
That mark beat analyst estimates by a penny, but the firm's latest net-income figure represents a 15% decline relative to the year-ago period. During the same stretch in fiscal 2004, the company -- whose main business line involves distributing and marketing pharmaceuticals and chemicals -- earned $3.3 million and paid out $0.13 per stub.
On its own, that unfavorable comparison might have been enough to cause Aceto's shares to take a tumble. But a full quarter of their value? I don't think so.
Instead, the precipitous descent likely owes to a few salient details the company laid out in its announcement -- details that apparently caused investors to take an exceedingly dim view of the firm's forward-looking prospects.
Namely, Aceto earned not a penny from two APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) that brought in a cool $10 million during 2004's fourth quarter -- zero, zilch, nada. And the company execs aren't expecting those APIs -- which chipped in a grand total of $19.8 million for all of fiscal 2005 -- to make a comeback for them in the future, either.
Can you say "shrinking revenue stream"?
Well, sure. But you can also say that Aceto has a number of things going for it.
First, the company is on solid financial footing, with a history of profitability, no long-term debt to speak of, and a relatively healthy balance sheet. And while the loss of revenue from the two APIs will also make for tough quarter-to-quarter comparisons when the company reports for the opening period of fiscal 2006, the company's other business lines -- which include manufacturing products for use in agriculture and the landfill industries -- may help take up the slack. The company even has a profitable -- if admittedly slow-growth -- business that operates out of Poland.
Gee, all that and a stock price that, before this morning's bell, was 25% cheaper than it was on Thursday. Any value hounds out there smelling opportunity just about now?
Shannon Zimmerman runs point on The Motley Fool's Champion Funds newsletter service and doesn't own any of the securities mentioned above. You can check out the Fool's disclosure policy by clicking right here.