Hartford Investment Management Co. lessened its stake in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 2.2% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 37,558 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 828 shares during the quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co.’s holdings in Ball were worth $1,727,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the business. United Services Automobile Association boosted its stake in Ball by 1.5% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 112,816 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,011,000 after acquiring an additional 1,620 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its stake in Ball by 5.2% in the third quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 52,812 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,322,000 after acquiring an additional 2,625 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in Ball by 43.3% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 725,025 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $31,892,000 after acquiring an additional 219,129 shares in the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new position in Ball in the third quarter valued at $703,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Ball by 4.3% in the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 125,026 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $5,500,000 after acquiring an additional 5,100 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.33% of the company’s stock.
BLL has been the subject of several research analyst reports. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Bank of America upped their price objective on shares of Ball from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their price objective on shares of Ball from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ball currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.23.
In other news, VP Charles E. Baker sold 16,647 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.50, for a total transaction of $840,673.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Daniel William Fisher sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total transaction of $371,910.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 38,661 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,054,058.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,324 shares of company stock valued at $1,937,601 in the last quarter. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
Shares of BLL opened at $53.90 on Monday. Ball Co. has a fifty-two week low of $34.71 and a fifty-two week high of $53.91. The stock has a market cap of $18.28 billion, a PE ratio of 24.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.65.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). Ball had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 3.90%. The business had revenue of $2.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.68 billion. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Ball Co. will post 2.68 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.74%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.18%.
Ball declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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Ball Corp. provides metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products, and of aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and governmental customers. It operates through the following business segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; Food and Aerosol Packaging; and Aerospace.
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