Ball Corp. (BLL) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $89.00 price target on the stock.
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.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a buy rating on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Saturday, July 9th. Bank of America Corp. reissued a buy rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $86.00 price target on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. TheStreet raised shares of Ball Corp. from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC started coverage on shares of Ball Corp. in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $75.00 price target on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $85.43.
Shares of Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) traded down 0.15% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $79.28. 132,046 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.53 and a beta of 1.02. Ball Corp. has a 1-year low of $62.30 and a 1-year high of $82.24. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $79.53 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.31.
Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.06. Ball Corp. had a net margin of 4.45% and a return on equity of 27.28%. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. Ball Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Ball Corp. will post $3.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.65%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Ball Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.13%.
In other Ball Corp. news, VP Shawn M. Barker sold 16,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.34, for a total transaction of $1,285,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,397 shares in the company, valued at approximately $272,914.98. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert W. Alspaugh purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $79.27 per share, with a total value of $237,810.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 500 shares in the company, valued at $39,635. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its position in Ball Corp. by 129.6% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 968 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Ball Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $192,000 after buying an additional 219 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia purchased a new position in Ball Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Investec Asset Management LTD purchased a new position in Ball Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $217,000. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its position in Ball Corp. by 10.0% in the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 3,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $239,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. 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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