An issue of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) debt fell 3.3% against its face value during trading on Wednesday. The debt issue has a 5.25% coupon and is set to mature on July 1, 2025. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $104.50 and were trading at $105.90 last week. Price changes in a company’s debt in credit markets often anticipate parallel changes in its stock price.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on BLL. Vertical Group downgraded shares of Ball Corp. to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Ball Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 target price (down from $94.00) on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Thursday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on shares of Ball Corp. from $84.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $75.00 target price on the stock. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $85.29.

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) opened at 75.89 on Friday. Ball Corp. has a 52 week low of $62.30 and a 52 week high of $82.24. The company has a 50 day moving average of $79.12 and a 200 day moving average of $75.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 43.51 and a beta of 1.05.

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.01. Ball Corp. had a return on equity of 20.89% and a net margin of 3.54%. The business earned $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.10 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 34.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Ball Corp. will post $3.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.69%. Ball Corp.’s payout ratio is 25.62%.

In other news, COO James N. Peterson sold 3,870 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.88, for a total transaction of $309,135.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 13,289 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,061,525.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 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 value of $1,285,440.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,397 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $272,914.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in Ball Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $123,000. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in Ball Corp. by 129.6% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 968 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in Ball Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,651 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,000 after buying an additional 219 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia purchased a new position in Ball Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $205,000. Finally, Creative Planning increased its position in Ball Corp. by 25.1% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,693 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.73% of the company’s stock.

Ball Corp. Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BLL

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