Traders Purchase High Volume of Call Options on Ball (NYSE:BLL)

Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders purchased 1,509 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately Infinity compared to the typical volume of 0 call options.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on BLL. UBS began coverage on Ball in a report on Monday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price target (down from $50.00) on shares of Ball in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Barclays raised their price objective on Ball from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.88.

In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 5,695 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.29, for a total value of $235,146.55. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 407,973 shares in the company, valued at $16,845,205.17. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Jeff A. Knobel sold 5,218 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.12, for a total value of $209,346.16. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 68,138 shares in the company, valued at $2,733,696.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 39,167 shares of company stock valued at $1,597,782 in the last quarter. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ball by 104.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 35,339,156 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,491,666,000 after purchasing an additional 18,062,724 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ball by 104.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,051,051 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $888,566,000 after purchasing an additional 10,752,597 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ball by 91.2% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 18,275,730 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $771,419,000 after purchasing an additional 8,716,359 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in Ball by 1.6% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 15,182,399 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $628,855,000 after acquiring an additional 246,397 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp lifted its holdings in Ball by 97.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,936,539 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $630,475,000 after acquiring an additional 7,386,379 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.40% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ball (BLL) traded up $0.91 during trading on Monday, hitting $40.65. The company had a trading volume of 3,346,182 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,358,824. The company has a current ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95. Ball has a 1 year low of $35.65 and a 1 year high of $43.24. The stock has a market cap of $13,911.21, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.31, a PEG ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.96.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by ($0.07). Ball had a net margin of 2.13% and a return on equity of 18.31%. The business had revenue of $2.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.91 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.48 EPS. Ball’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ball will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.50%.

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About Ball

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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