Ball Sees Unusually High Options Volume (BLL)

Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 4,691 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,501% compared to the typical daily volume of 293 call options.

In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,228 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.89, for a total value of $88,874.92. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 408,215 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,283,696.35. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,591 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 19th. The stock was 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 directly owns 390,052 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,063,808.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 41,774 shares of company stock worth $1,642,983 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

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Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BLL. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new stake in Ball in the 4th quarter worth $121,000. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in Ball in the 4th quarter worth $125,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. grew its holdings in Ball by 63.0% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,881 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $147,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in Ball in the 4th quarter worth $164,000. Finally, Evermay Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Ball in the 4th quarter worth $226,000. 88.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. JPMorgan Chase reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $48.00 price target (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ball from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 11th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Citigroup raised shares of Ball from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, KeyCorp raised shares of Ball from an “underweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.38.

BLL stock opened at $41.25 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.92. Ball has a 52 week low of $35.60 and a 52 week high of $43.24. The firm has a market cap of $14,511.80, a P/E ratio of 20.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.27 and a beta of 0.85.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its earnings results 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. Ball had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 19.24%. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Ball will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current year.

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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.

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