Brokerages expect that Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Ball’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.47 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.53. Ball also reported earnings per share of $0.50 in the same quarter last year. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, May 2nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ball will report full year earnings of $2.61 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.30 to $2.70. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $2.96 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.60 to $3.15. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Ball.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $2.80 billion for 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%.

BLL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Ball from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. UBS Group downgraded Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, February 15th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on Ball from $56.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 21st. ValuEngine raised Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Monday, January 7th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.59.

Shares of BLL opened at $58.90 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $19.88 billion, a PE ratio of 26.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.14 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.96. Ball has a one year low of $34.71 and a one year high of $59.63.

Ball declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be given a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.02%. This is a boost from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Ball’s payout ratio is 18.18%.

In related news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 13,677 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total value of $725,017.77. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 459,336 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,349,401.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 91,701 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total transaction of $5,061,895.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 467,844 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,824,988.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 137,399 shares of company stock valued at $7,566,622 in the last 90 days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its position in shares of Ball by 60.2% during the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 9,440 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $415,000 after acquiring an additional 3,546 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC raised its position in shares of Ball by 138.0% during the 3rd quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 11,983 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $527,000 after acquiring an additional 43,510 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Ball by 17.9% during the 3rd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 19,125 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $841,000 after acquiring an additional 2,910 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp bought a new stake in shares of Ball during the 3rd quarter valued at $312,000. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new stake in shares of Ball during the 3rd quarter valued at $617,000. Institutional investors own 87.12% of the company’s stock.

About Ball

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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