Ball (NYSE:BLL) was downgraded by equities research analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on BLL. TheStreet upgraded Ball from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 13th. JPMorgan Chase restated 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. Citigroup upgraded 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 reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, May 3rd. Two 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 stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.38.
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Shares of BLL stock opened at $37.74 on Wednesday. Ball has a 1 year low of $37.66 and a 1 year high of $38.15. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72. The company has a market cap of $13.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.50, a P/E/G ratio of 3.01 and a beta of 0.87.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 3rd. The industrial products company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.05. Ball had a return on equity of 19.86% and a net margin of 4.04%. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.58 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.38 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Ball will post 2.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ball announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, April 25th that allows the company to repurchase 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Ball news, COO Daniel William Fisher purchased 9,000 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $40.10 per share, for a total transaction of $360,900.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,194 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.29, for a total value of $86,202.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 408,024 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,031,262.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 41,408 shares of company stock worth $1,634,544. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in BLL. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth approximately $121,000. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth approximately $125,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. grew its stake in Ball by 63.0% in the fourth quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,881 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $147,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth approximately $164,000. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Ball in the first quarter worth approximately $203,000. 89.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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