Ball (BLL) Lifted to Sell at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ball (NYSE:BLL) from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

BLL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Vertical Group cut Ball from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Citigroup increased their price objective on Ball from $51.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, October 4th. UBS Group set a $52.00 price objective on Ball and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $51.00 price objective on Ball and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $51.17.

Shares of NYSE BLL opened at $48.01 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $16.28 billion, a PE ratio of 23.53, a PEG ratio of 3.95 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 1.01. Ball has a one year low of $34.71 and a one year high of $50.98.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The industrial products company reported $0.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $2.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.80 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 20.02% and a net margin of 4.21%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.52 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Ball will post 2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.83%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is currently 19.61%.

In other Ball news, VP Charles E. Baker sold 16,647 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.50, for a total value of $840,673.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.40, for a total value of $1,110,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 30,392 shares in the company, valued at $1,349,404.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 48,546 shares of company stock worth $2,277,824 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Ball by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 8,834,258 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $388,620,000 after acquiring an additional 257,164 shares during the last quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Ball by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 7,190,814 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $316,323,000 after acquiring an additional 86,773 shares during the last quarter. Putnam Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Ball by 24.1% during the 3rd quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 5,111,702 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $224,864,000 after purchasing an additional 993,028 shares during the last quarter. Dodge & Cox bought a new position in shares of Ball during the 3rd quarter valued at about $155,286,000. Finally, Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Ball by 7.4% during the 3rd quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 2,908,416 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $127,941,000 after purchasing an additional 199,415 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.47% of the company’s stock.

Ball Company Profile

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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