Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) – Analysts at Jefferies Group upped their Q4 2017 EPS estimates for shares of Ball in a report released on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst P. Ng now expects that the industrial products company will earn $0.59 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.59. Jefferies Group currently has a “Buy” rating and a $47.50 target price on the stock.
Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Ball from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $39.50 price objective on shares of Ball in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Vertical Research lowered shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $41.50 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, May 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ball has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $42.23.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) opened at 40.69 on Friday. Ball has a 12-month low of $39.34 and a 12-month high of $82.24. The company has a market capitalization of $14.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.28 and a beta of 0.98. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $67.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $73.30.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.41 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 18.44% and a net margin of 2.81%. Ball’s quarterly revenue was up 40.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.30 earnings per share.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 30th. This is a positive change from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.98%. Ball’s payout ratio is currently 30.23%.
In other Ball news, Director Daniel J. Heinrich acquired 1,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $72.27 per share, with a total value of $126,472.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,373 shares in the company, valued at approximately $243,766.71. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Lisa Ann Pauley sold 5,752 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.89, for a total transaction of $425,015.28. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 54,437 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,022,349.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 59,793 shares of company stock valued at $3,082,110. Company insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ball by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,276,432 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,282,948,000 after buying an additional 683,310 shares during the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its stake in shares of Ball by 28.1% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 15,125,555 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,239,539,000 after buying an additional 3,314,765 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Ball by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,107,274 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $908,893,000 after buying an additional 468,980 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ball by 2,907.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,298,454 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $764,763,000 after buying an additional 9,956,034 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Ball by 2.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,550,160 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $560,675,000 after buying an additional 161,792 shares during the last quarter. 83.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of metal packaging to the beverage, food, personal care and household products industries. The Company’s packaging products are produced for a range of end uses and are manufactured in facilities around the world. Its segments include beverage packaging, North and Central America; beverage packaging, South America; beverage packaging, Europe; food and aerosol packaging; aerospace, and other.
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