Shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seventeen research firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $55.08.
BLL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. UBS Group cut Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company. in a report on Friday, February 15th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted 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 started coverage on Ball in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine raised Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Monday, January 7th.
In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 13,677 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total transaction of $725,017.77. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 459,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,349,401.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Nate C. Carey sold 1,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.59, for a total value of $105,621.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 16,336 shares in the company, valued at $908,118.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 137,399 shares of company stock worth $7,566,622 in the last 90 days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BLL. Global Retirement Partners LLC increased its position in Ball by 281.1% in the 4th quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 475 shares during the period. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ball during the fourth quarter valued at $32,000. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 29.0% during the fourth quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $49,000 after purchasing an additional 238 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 24.5% during the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,062 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the period. Finally, Gemmer Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 204.6% during the fourth quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 1,191 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $55,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. 87.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of BLL opened at $58.11 on Friday. Ball has a one year low of $34.71 and a one year high of $58.95. The company has a market cap of $19.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.41, a PEG ratio of 4.04 and a beta of 0.83. 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 issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.68 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.90% and a return on equity of 20.08%. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Ball will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st were issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.18%.
Ball announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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