JPMorgan Chase & Co. Reaffirms Overweight Rating for Ball (BLL)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated their overweight rating on shares of Ball (NYSE:BLL) in a report issued on Thursday morning. They currently have a $48.00 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $47.00.

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Citigroup upgraded shares of Ball from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $45.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. UBS Group started coverage on shares of Ball in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $50.00 target price on the stock. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and set a $45.00 target price on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Vertical Research upgraded shares of Ball from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, December 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Ball from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $45.21.

Shares of Ball (NYSE:BLL) traded down $1.51 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $36.93. 2,884,059 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,582,908. The stock has a market cap of $12,880.00, a PE ratio of 32.85, a P/E/G ratio of 3.20 and a beta of 0.97. Ball has a 1-year low of $35.60 and a 1-year high of $43.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a current ratio of 0.92.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.64 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 19.20%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. research analysts forecast that Ball will post 2.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.08%. Ball’s payout ratio is 35.71%.

In related news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 5,519 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.74, for a total transaction of $224,844.06. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 408,451 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,640,293.74. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO James N. Peterson sold 1,349 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.05, for a total transaction of $51,329.45. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 38,008 shares in the company, valued at $1,446,204.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 16,241 shares of company stock worth $638,091 over the last quarter. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its stake in Ball by 104.7% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 13,140 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $555,000 after acquiring an additional 6,720 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its stake in Ball by 126.3% in the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 7,946 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $335,000 after acquiring an additional 4,434 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in Ball by 135.0% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,409,191 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $59,482,000 after acquiring an additional 809,520 shares in the last quarter. QS Investors LLC grew its stake in Ball by 157.0% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 11,728 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $495,000 after acquiring an additional 7,164 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Employees Retirement System of Texas grew its stake in Ball by 88.1% in the 2nd quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 15,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $667,000 after acquiring an additional 7,400 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.65% of the company’s stock.

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About Ball

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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