Analysts Anticipate Ball Co. (BLL) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $2.66 Billion

Wall Street brokerages predict that Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) will announce $2.66 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have issued estimates for Ball’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.64 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.72 billion. Ball posted sales of $2.79 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year-over-year growth rate of 4.7%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd.

On average, analysts expect that Ball will report full year sales of $11.63 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $11.32 billion to $11.87 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $12.03 billion, with estimates ranging from $11.61 billion to $12.41 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Ball.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). Ball had a net margin of 3.90% and a return on equity of 20.08%. The business had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.68 billion.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on BLL. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on Ball from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group lowered Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, February 15th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Ball from $56.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Morgan Stanley set a $55.00 target price on Ball and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, January 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ball currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.08.

Shares of BLL traded up $0.23 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,153,738 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,742,783. Ball has a twelve month low of $34.71 and a twelve month high of $57.50. The firm has a market cap of $19.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.14, a PEG ratio of 3.94 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83.

Ball announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, January 23rd that permits the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the industrial products company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.70%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.18%.

In related news, COO Daniel William Fisher sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total transaction of $371,910.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 38,661 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,054,058.93. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 91,701 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total value of $5,061,895.20. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 467,844 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,824,988.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 128,299 shares of company stock valued at $7,039,095 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Global Retirement Partners LLC grew its stake in Ball by 281.1% during the 4th quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 475 shares during the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Ball during the 4th quarter worth $32,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its stake in Ball by 4,406.0% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $37,000 after buying an additional 1,682,073 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc grew its stake in Ball by 24.5% during the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,062 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $48,000 after buying an additional 209 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Ball by 29.0% during the 4th quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $49,000 after buying an additional 238 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.03% of the company’s stock.

About Ball

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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