Ball (BLL) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Ball (NYSE:BLL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects its fourth-quarter 2017 results will be affected by severe impacts of the U.S. hurricanes. It also noted that freight and fuel rates continue to be higher. Moreover, elevated costs due to higher interest expense and additional expense related to the closure of its Recklinghausen facility will hurt growth. The stock has also underperformed the industry year to date. Ball Corporation continues to make progress on global finance transformation projects and corporate cost cutting initiatives with the opening of shared service centers in Belgrade, Serbia, and Querétaro, Mexico. Additionally, the beverage manufacturing plant network optimizations in 2018, new specialty beverage can plants in the United States and Spain, as well as continuing aerospace and aerosol growth will support its long-term financial objective.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. UBS Group started coverage on Ball in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Vertical Research upgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, December 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TheStreet cut Ball from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.00.

Ball (BLL) traded up $0.09 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $38.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,185,396 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,535,533. The company has a quick ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95. Ball has a twelve month low of $35.65 and a twelve month high of $43.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,450.00, a P/E ratio of 51.95, a P/E/G ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 0.97.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $2.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.91 billion. Ball had a net margin of 2.13% and a return on equity of 18.31%. Ball’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.48 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Ball will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

In related news, COO James N. Peterson sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.05, for a total transaction of $51,329.45. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 38,008 shares in the company, valued at $1,446,204.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 5,695 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.29, for a total value of $235,146.55. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 407,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,845,205.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,563 shares of company stock valued at $511,320. 2.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its position in Ball by 96.6% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 498,570 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $21,045,000 after buying an additional 244,925 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. grew its position in Ball by 89.8% during the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 22,798 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $962,000 after buying an additional 10,788 shares in the last quarter. Andra AP fonden grew its position in Ball by 20.6% during the second quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 15,200 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $642,000 after buying an additional 2,600 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. grew its position in Ball by 82.1% during the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 6,266 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $264,000 after buying an additional 2,825 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC grew its position in Ball by 90.5% during the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 59,699 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,520,000 after buying an additional 28,355 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.48% of the company’s stock.

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Ball 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ball (NYSE:BLL)

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