Ball Corp. (BLL) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $89.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation will gain from Rexam acquisition which will help to simplify and streamline its business and is deliver over $300 million in synergies by the end of 2019. Recently, Ball Corporation entered into an agreement to sell its specialty tin manufacturing facility in Baltimore, MD, to U.S.-based Independent Can Company for around $25 million. This divestiture will help it to focus on maximizing value and generating positive EVA dollars in its core businesses. The deal will also enable the company to better align with its strategic focus on food and aerosol packaging. Meanwhile, it will also benefit from multiple growth capital projects ramping up in the remainder of 2016 and beyond. Strong backlog, robust demand and increasing EVA dollar generation remain tailwinds.”
BLL has been the subject of several other research reports. Bank of America Corp. reissued a buy rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Thursday, September 29th. TheStreet raised shares of Ball Corp. from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on shares of Ball Corp. from $84.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Robert W. Baird reissued an outperform rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Vertical Research downgraded shares of Ball Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $85.43.
Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $79.28. The company had a trading volume of 132,046 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.81 billion, a PE ratio of 36.53 and a beta of 1.02. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $79.53 and a 200-day moving average price of $74.31. Ball Corp. has a 1-year low of $62.30 and a 1-year high of $82.24.
Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.06. The company earned $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. Ball Corp. had a net margin of 4.45% and a return on equity of 27.28%. Ball Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Ball Corp. will post $3.44 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.65%. Ball Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.13%.
In other Ball Corp. news, Director Robert W. Alspaugh acquired 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $79.27 per share, for a total transaction of $237,810.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 500 shares in the company, valued at $39,635. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Shawn M. Barker sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.34, for a total transaction of $1,285,440.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,397 shares in the company, valued at $272,914.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BLL. Conning Inc. increased its position in Ball Corp. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 3,364 shares of the company’s stock worth $243,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 2.0% in the second quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,829 shares of the company’s stock valued at $273,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the period. Fragasso Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 0.5% in the second quarter. Fragasso Group Inc. now owns 19,669 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,421,000 after buying an additional 93 shares during the period. Carnick & Kubik LLC increased its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 2.4% in the first quarter. Carnick & Kubik LLC now owns 4,312 shares of the company’s stock valued at $307,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 1.9% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 5,252 shares of the company’s stock valued at $379,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.68% of the company’s stock.
About Ball Corp.
Ball Corporation (Ball) 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. The Company operates in four segments: metal beverage packaging, Americas and Asia; metal beverage packaging, Europe; metal food and household products packaging, and aerospace and technologies.
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