Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 23,933,984 shares, an increase of 98.5% from the May 15th total of 12,056,572 shares. Approximately 7.2% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,014,902 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 11.9 days.
In other Ball Corporation news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 2,717 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.62, for a total value of $219,044.54. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 206,255 shares in the company, valued at $16,628,278.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Lisa Ann Pauley sold 20,960 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.48, for a total transaction of $869,420.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 108,887 shares in the company, valued at $4,516,632.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 72,952 shares of company stock worth $3,188,747. 2.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ball Corporation by 35.7% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,385 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 364 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter worth about $126,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in shares of Ball Corporation by 17.1% in the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,797 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter worth about $201,000. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter worth about $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Ball Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Vertical Research cut shares of Ball Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $41.50 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Jefferies Group LLC upped their price target on shares of Ball Corporation from $45.00 to $47.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Ball Corporation from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $42.23.
Shares of Ball Corporation (NYSE BLL) opened at 41.16 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $54.97 and its 200 day moving average is $69.66. Ball Corporation has a 12 month low of $33.76 and a 12 month high of $41.82. The stock has a market cap of $14.45 billion, a PE ratio of 30.62 and a beta of 0.95.
Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.04. Ball Corporation had a net margin of 4.59% and a return on equity of 16.46%. The business had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.41 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 40.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Ball Corporation will post $2.15 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 1st were given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This is a boost from Ball Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 30th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.97%. Ball Corporation’s payout ratio is 26.67%.
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About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation is a supplier of metal packaging to the beverage, food, personal care and household products industries. The Company’s packaging products are produced for a range of end uses and are manufactured in facilities around the world. Its segments include beverage packaging, North and Central America; beverage packaging, South America; beverage packaging, Europe; food and aerosol packaging; aerospace, and other.
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