Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) and Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) are both mid-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Ball Corporation and Sealed Air Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ball Corporation 1.70% 17.54% 3.91%
Sealed Air Corporation 5.48% 85.72% 6.71%

Dividends

Ball Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Sealed Air Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Ball Corporation pays out 78.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Sealed Air Corporation pays out 37.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sealed Air Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Risk & Volatility

Ball Corporation has a beta of 0.95, indicating that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sealed Air Corporation has a beta of 1.16, indicating that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

46.6% of Ball Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.9% of Sealed Air Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Ball Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Sealed Air Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Ball Corporation and Sealed Air Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ball Corporation 0 4 5 0 2.56
Sealed Air Corporation 0 6 4 0 2.40

Ball Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $43.88, indicating a potential upside of 8.17%. Sealed Air Corporation has a consensus price target of $48.56, indicating a potential upside of 11.65%. Given Sealed Air Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Sealed Air Corporation is more favorable than Ball Corporation.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ball Corporation and Sealed Air Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ball Corporation $9.78 billion 1.46 $1.46 billion $0.51 79.53
Sealed Air Corporation $6.80 billion 1.25 $1.04 billion $1.73 25.14

Ball Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Sealed Air Corporation. Sealed Air Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ball Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Sealed Air Corporation beats Ball Corporation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ball Corporation Company Profile

Ball Corporation 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. Its segments include beverage packaging, North and Central America; beverage packaging, South America; beverage packaging, Europe; food and aerosol packaging; aerospace, and other. Its major product line is aluminum and steel beverage containers. It produces steel food, aerosol and extruded aluminum aerosol containers and aluminum slugs. Its aerospace business designs, develops and manufactures aerospace systems for civil, commercial and national cyber security aerospace markets. It produces spacecraft, instruments and sensors, radio frequency systems and components, data exploitation solutions and a range of aerospace technologies and products.

Sealed Air Corporation Company Profile

Sealed Air Corporation is engaged in food safety and security, facility hygiene and product protection business. The Company’s segments are Food Care, Diversey Care, Product Care and Other (includes Corporate, Medical Applications and New Ventures businesses). The Food Care segment focuses on providing a range of integrated system solutions. The Food Care business serves primarily perishable food and beverage processors, predominately in fresh red meat, smoked and processed meats, beverages, poultry and dairy (solids and liquids) markets throughout the world. The Diversey Care segment integrates cleaning chemicals, floor care machines, cleaning tools and equipment, and a range of services, including application and employee training, auditing of hygiene and appearance, and water and energy management. The Product Care segment provides customers with a range of Product Care solutions to meet cushioning, void fill, surface protection, retail display, containment and dunnage needs.

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