Ball (NYSE:BLL) had its price target lifted by equities research analysts at Morgan Stanley from $55.00 to $63.00 in a report released on Wednesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the industrial products company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 10.43% from the company’s previous close.
Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Ball from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Monday, January 7th. ValuEngine upgraded Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, UBS Group downgraded Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.59.
BLL stock opened at $57.05 on Wednesday. Ball has a fifty-two week low of $34.71 and a fifty-two week high of $58.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.96. The company has a market cap of $19.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.93, a PEG ratio of 4.06 and a beta of 0.83.
Ball announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 13,677 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total value of $725,017.77. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 459,336 shares in the company, valued at $24,349,401.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Nate C. Carey sold 1,900 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.59, for a total value of $105,621.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 16,336 shares in the company, valued at approximately $908,118.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 137,399 shares of company stock worth $7,566,622 in the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC bought a new position in Ball in the first quarter valued at $30,000. Global Retirement Partners LLC increased its stake in Ball by 281.1% in the fourth quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 475 shares during the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter valued at $32,000. Spectrum Management Group Inc. bought a new position in Ball in the first quarter valued at $60,000. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Ball by 29.0% in the fourth quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $49,000 after acquiring an additional 238 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.22% of the company’s stock.
Ball Company 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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