Verition Fund Management LLC Invests $1.29 Million in Ball Co. (BLL) Stock

Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new stake in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund bought 33,939 shares of the industrial products company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,285,000.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,323,444 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $807,092,000 after buying an additional 196,683 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of 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 buying an additional 246,397 shares in the last quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 25.8% in the third quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 7,871,056 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $325,075,000 after buying an additional 1,613,246 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 3.4% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,271,901 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $176,431,000 after buying an additional 139,329 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,604,828 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $136,151,000 after buying an additional 107,046 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.68% of the company’s stock.

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Several research analysts have issued reports on BLL shares. TheStreet raised Ball from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Ball from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. JPMorgan Chase reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $48.00 price objective (up from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. KeyCorp upgraded shares of Ball from an “underweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.62.

NYSE:BLL traded down $1.02 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $39.26. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,359,126 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,434,313. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,758.35, a PE ratio of 19.25, a P/E/G ratio of 3.10 and a beta of 0.85. Ball Co. has a one year low of $35.60 and a one year high of $43.24. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.64 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 19.24%. Ball’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Ball Co. will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.02%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is 19.61%.

In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,591 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director R David Hoover sold 2,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.71, for a total transaction of $89,562.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 194,594 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,921,921.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 41,774 shares of company stock valued at $1,642,983. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

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Ball Company Profile

Ball Corporation supplies metal packaging products to the beverage, food, personal care, and household products industries. It operates in five segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; Food and Aerosol Packaging; and Aerospace.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ball (NYSE:BLL)

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