Principal Financial Group Inc. cut its position in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 3.2% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 573,738 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 18,779 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Ball were worth $33,197,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BLL. Global Retirement Partners LLC grew its position in Ball by 281.1% during the fourth quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC acquired a new stake in Ball during the first quarter worth about $30,000. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Ball during the first quarter worth about $30,000. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Ball during the first quarter worth about $35,000. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Ball by 4,406.0% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $37,000 after buying an additional 1,682,073 shares in the last quarter. 82.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,897 shares of Ball stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.06, for a total value of $182,684.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 441,271 shares in the company, valued at $27,826,549.26. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,247 shares of Ball stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.19, for a total transaction of $602,811.93. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 439,485 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,650,027.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 41,655 shares of company stock worth $2,597,872 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.83% and a return on equity of 20.39%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Ball Co. will post 2.61 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. This is an increase from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. Ball’s payout ratio is presently 27.27%.
BLL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ball from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. UBS Group downgraded Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, February 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on Ball from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ball presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.93.
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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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