An issue of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) bonds fell 2.7% as a percentage of their face value during trading on Friday. The high-yield debt issue has a 4% coupon and will mature on November 15, 2023. The debt is now trading at $97.38 and was trading at $99.44 last week. Price changes in a company’s bonds in credit markets sometimes predict parallel changes in its share price.

BLL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on Ball Corp. in a report on Friday, July 29th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $77.00 target price on the stock. Vertical Research cut Ball Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Vertical Group cut Ball Corp. to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group increased their target price on Ball Corp. from $86.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on Ball Corp. from $84.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Ball Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.29.

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, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.01. The firm earned $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. Ball Corp. had a return on equity of 20.89% and a net margin of 3.54%. The business’s revenue was up 34.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.10 earnings per share.

The business 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.68%. Ball Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 25.62%.

In other news, VP Shawn M. Barker sold 16,000 shares of Ball Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.34, for a total transaction of $1,285,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 3,397 shares in the company, valued at approximately $272,914.98. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Cynthia A. Niekamp bought 3,000 shares of Ball Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $80.37 per share, with a total value of $241,110.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 3,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $241,110. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 11.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,856,473 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,001,685,000 after buying an additional 1,452,558 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 16.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,345,042 shares of the company’s stock valued at $458,683,000 after buying an additional 885,627 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 8.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,003,676 shares of the company’s stock valued at $434,001,000 after buying an additional 476,837 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 3.0% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,562,098 shares of the company’s stock valued at $455,814,000 after buying an additional 160,168 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Senator Investment Group LP increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 4.0% in the second quarter. Senator Investment Group LP now owns 5,353,839 shares of the company’s stock valued at $387,029,000 after buying an additional 203,839 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.73% 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BLL

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