Trading Report: The Ball Corp. (BLL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

The Ball Corp. (BLL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $89.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 13.64% from the stock’s previous close.

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.”

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on BLL. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ball Corp. in a research report on Friday, June 10th. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Ball Corp. in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ball Corp. in a research report on Saturday, July 9th. Barclays PLC started coverage on Ball Corp. in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $75.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Ball Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 29th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $77.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Ball Corp. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $85.43.

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Shares of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) traded down 1.55% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $78.32. The company had a trading volume of 665,718 shares. Ball Corp. has a 52 week low of $62.30 and a 52 week high of $82.24. The company has a market capitalization of $13.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.09 and a beta of 1.02. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $79.45 and a 200-day moving average of $74.41.

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.06. Ball Corp. had a return on equity of 27.28% and a net margin of 4.45%. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.89 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Ball Corp. will post $3.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a $0.13 dividend. 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 0.66%. Ball Corp.’s payout ratio is 22.13%.

In other news, VP Shawn M. Barker sold 16,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.34, for a total value of $1,285,440.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 3,397 shares in the company, valued at $272,914.98. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Robert W. Alspaugh bought 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $79.27 per share, for a total transaction of $237,810.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $39,635. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 acquired a new position in shares of Ball Corp. during the second quarter worth about $205,000. Investec Asset Management LTD acquired a new position in shares of Ball Corp. during the first quarter worth about $217,000. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Ball Corp. by 10.0% in the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 3,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $239,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. 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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