Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects earnings per share growth for 2017 to be lower than the guidance range of 20-30% due to issues in the EMEA segment’s food can business. The company anticipates the decline in food can business to persist due to timing issues with some customers. Further, one of the company’s large customers is experimenting with an alternative substrate which remains a concern for Ball Corporation’s volume. Tight supply and demand situation in its global aluminum aerosol business and elevated expenses remain headwinds. Further, the company’s third quarter is a seasonally slow quarter. Its estimates have gone down over the past three months. Moreover, the company has underperformed the Zacks categorized sub-industry year to date.”

BLL has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a buy rating and issued a $49.00 price target (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Ball Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub raised Ball Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of Ball Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Ball Corporation in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their price target on Ball Corporation from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ball Corporation has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $44.23.

Shares of Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) opened at 41.94 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 59.49 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $41.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.43. Ball Corporation has a 12 month low of $35.65 and a 12 month high of $43.06.

Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The industrial products company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $2.86 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.81 billion. Ball Corporation had a net margin of 1.70% and a return on equity of 17.63%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 40.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.05 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Ball Corporation will post $2.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Ball Corporation news, VP Jeff A. Knobel sold 5,218 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.12, for a total value of $209,346.16. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 68,138 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,733,696.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Lisa Ann Pauley sold 37,984 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.03, for a total value of $1,596,467.52. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 108,905 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,577,277.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 129,601 shares of company stock valued at $5,260,953 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Fifth Third Bancorp grew its stake in Ball Corporation by 2.1% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 3,646 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $271,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its stake in Ball Corporation by 0.8% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 14,201 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,055,000 after acquiring an additional 109 shares during the period. Tredje AP fonden grew its stake in Ball Corporation by 2.1% in the second quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 11,270 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $476,000 after acquiring an additional 230 shares during the period. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its stake in Ball Corporation by 3.7% in the first quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 20,718 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,539,000 after acquiring an additional 740 shares during the period. Finally, Garcia Hamilton & Associates LP DE grew its stake in Ball Corporation by 9.6% in the second quarter. Garcia Hamilton & Associates LP DE now owns 8,540 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $360,000 after acquiring an additional 746 shares during the period. 86.32% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ball Corporation Company Profile

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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