Traders purchased shares of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $104.46 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $24.01 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $80.45 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Ball Corp. had the highest net in-flow for the day. Ball Corp. traded down ($0.03) for the day and closed at $71.30

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Ball Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Ball Corp. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $79.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, March 31st. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Tuesday, April 26th. TheStreet downgraded Ball Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Ball Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Ball Corp. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $78.83.

The firm has a market capitalization of $9.93 billion and a PE ratio of 74.98. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $72.00 and a 200 day moving average of $70.43.

Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.10. The firm earned $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.89 billion. The firm’s revenue was down 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Ball Corp. will post $3.53 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, COO James N. Peterson sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.56, for a total transaction of $145,120.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 15,626 shares in the company, valued at $1,133,822.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Hanno C. Fiedler bought 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $71.77 per share, with a total value 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 disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Several large investors recently made changes to their positions in BLL. 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 period. 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 period. 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 period. 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 period. Finally, Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of Ball Corp. by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 40,824 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,849,000 after buying an additional 548 shares during the period.

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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