Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 5,010,145 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 46% from the previous session’s volume of 3,442,452 shares.The stock last traded at $71.30 and had previously closed at $71.33.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Barclays PLC assumed coverage on Ball Corp. in a report on Thursday. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $75.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Saturday, July 9th. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ball Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ball Corp. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $78.83.

The company has a market cap of $10.11 billion and a P/E ratio of 76.34. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $72.05 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.45.

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.10. The business earned $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.89 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.69 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ball Corp. will post $3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 1st were given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 27th.

In related news, Director Hanno C. Fiedler purchased 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $71.77 per share, for a total transaction of $502,390.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 124,418 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,929,479.86. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO James N. Peterson sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.56, for a total value of $145,120.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 15,626 shares in the company, valued at $1,133,822.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds recently made changes to their positions in the company. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 42,775 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,111,000 after buying an additional 123 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 41,313 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,005,000 after buying an additional 697 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 237,432 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,268,000 after buying an additional 3,600 shares during the last quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 30.0% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 24,973 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,816,000 after buying an additional 5,762 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 19,783 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,439,000 after buying an additional 1,084 shares during the last quarter.

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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