Cetera Advisors LLC trimmed its position in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 5.8% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 11,156 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 692 shares during the quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC’s holdings in Ball were worth $512,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Ball by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,566,169 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $991,613,000 after acquiring an additional 161,245 shares in the last quarter. Putnam Investments LLC increased its holdings in Ball by 24.1% in the 3rd quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 5,111,702 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $224,864,000 after acquiring an additional 993,028 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Ball by 7.6% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,417,275 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $202,755,000 after acquiring an additional 311,457 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Ball by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,720,010 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $171,047,000 after acquiring an additional 91,945 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in Ball in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $155,286,000. 87.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

BLL stock opened at $57.86 on Friday. Ball Co. has a 1-year low of $34.71 and a 1-year high of $58.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The company has a market capitalization of $19.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.03 and a beta of 0.82.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). Ball had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 3.90%. The business had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.68 billion. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Ball Co. will post 2.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st were paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.69%. Ball’s payout ratio is 18.18%.

Ball declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

BLL has been the subject of several analyst reports. Morgan Stanley set a $55.00 target price on shares of Ball and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Citigroup reduced their target price on shares of Ball from $55.00 to $52.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, January 7th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Monday, January 7th. Finally, UBS Group lowered shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, February 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ball has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $53.08.

In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 91,701 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total transaction of $5,061,895.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 467,844 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,824,988.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Nate C. Carey sold 1,900 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.59, for a total value of $105,621.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 16,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $908,118.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 128,299 shares of company stock valued at $7,039,095 over the last 90 days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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Ball Profile

Ball Corp. provides metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products, and of aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and governmental customers. It operates through the following business segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; Food and Aerosol Packaging; and Aerospace.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ball (NYSE:BLL)

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