Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 177.8% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 191,640 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after purchasing an additional 122,646 shares during the quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ball were worth $7,254,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BLL. Millennium Management LLC boosted its position in Ball by 322.0% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,450,695 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $54,909,000 after purchasing an additional 1,106,893 shares during the period. Lodge Hill Capital LLC acquired a new position in Ball during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $39,743,000. Eaton Vance Management boosted its position in Ball by 87.3% during the 4th quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,523,918 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $57,680,000 after purchasing an additional 710,179 shares during the period. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. bought a new stake in Ball during the 4th quarter valued at $23,561,000. Finally, Ascend Capital LLC bought a new stake in Ball during the 4th quarter valued at $21,736,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.88% of the company’s stock.
In other news, SVP Lisa Ann Pauley sold 18,660 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.44, for a total value of $735,950.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 122,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,819,883.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,228 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.89, for a total value of $88,874.92. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 408,215 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,283,696.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 48,556 shares of company stock worth $1,904,836 in the last three months. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. Ball had a return on equity of 19.24% and a net margin of 3.63%. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.44 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Ball Co. will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.71%.
BLL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. KeyCorp downgraded Ball from a “sector weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and cut their target price for the company from $40.81 to $36.00 in a research note on Friday, December 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $48.00 target price (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Vertical Research raised Ball from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, December 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Ball from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.62.
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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.
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