No surprise there, and on the whole a lot of good news: sales up 10% on the first six months of the previous year, and earnings per share up 8.5%; cash flow excellent, and dividend payout up 6%.

Management forecasts sales of between $570 and $600 million for the 2024 financial year. At the end of this period, WD-40 will have exactly doubled its sales in the space of fifteen years.

While this performance is to be applauded, does it justify the current share price, which is flirting with fifty times earnings? The subject is often debated by observers and analysts.

Indeed, WD-40 is often cited as a perfect illustration of the new era in financial markets - that of quantitative easing and artificial liquidity, and in practice the only one that active investors have experienced since the great crisis of 2008.

Over the last ten years, the stock's average valuation has reached thirty-seven times earnings, while the annual sales growth rate has averaged just 3.4%.

Between 2003 and 2013, i.e. over the previous cycle, the average valuation hovered around twenty times earnings, while the annual sales growth rate was 3.7%.

The multiple expansion, in fact, is a direct consequence of central bank support schemes, and no doubt also in conjunction with the rise of index funds that buy the market indiscriminately.

Despite a marked improvement in return on equity - achieved at the cost of financial leverage which, all things considered, remains reasonable - the trend does not appear to be justified by any major upheaval in business fundamentals.

In this respect, without taking a clear-cut position on the debate, let's emphasize that WD-40 shares remain a good barometer of the market's general mood.