Investors Buy Shares of Ball (BLL) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) on weakness during trading on Monday. $47.93 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $29.91 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $18.02 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Ball had the 23rd highest net in-flow for the day. Ball traded down ($0.34) for the day and closed at $37.53

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on BLL. Vertical Research raised shares of Ball from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, December 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TheStreet cut shares of Ball from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. KeyCorp lowered shares of Ball from a “sector weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $40.81 to $36.00 in a research note on Friday, December 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, UBS Group initiated coverage on shares of Ball in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price objective on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.21.

The firm has a market cap of $13,137.59, a P/E ratio of 18.49, a P/E/G ratio of 3.04 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 19.20%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. analysts predict that Ball Co. will post 2.25 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. Ball’s payout ratio is currently 35.71%.

In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,591 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.62, for a total transaction of $100,064.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 390,052 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,063,808.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO James N. Peterson sold 1,349 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.05, for a total transaction of $51,329.45. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 38,008 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,446,204.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 16,241 shares of company stock valued at $638,091 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Ball during the fourth quarter worth $962,000. Profund Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Ball by 29.7% during the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 11,445 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $433,000 after buying an additional 2,618 shares during the period. Lodge Hill Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ball during the fourth quarter worth $39,743,000. MANA Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ball during the fourth quarter worth $1,903,000. Finally, Portland Hill Asset Management Ltd grew its holdings in Ball by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Portland Hill Asset Management Ltd now owns 390,784 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $14,844,000 after purchasing an additional 19,371 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.08% of the company’s stock.

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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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