Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation witnessed a sluggish first-quarter 2015 results due to foreign currency translation and higher metal premiums in Europe. The company remains concerned for the food and household segment throughout 2015 related to the customer shift. Ball Corporation expects metal premiums, adverse currency translation and startup costs will persist as headwinds in 2015. Moreover pricing pressure in China, weak demand in Brazil and modest pressure in the U.S. food can market will affect the company's results.”
A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on BLL. TheStreet raised Ball Corporation from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $47.00 price objective (up previously from $44.00) on shares of Ball Corporation in a research report on Tuesday. BidaskClub raised Ball Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Ball Corporation in a research report on Sunday, June 25th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Ball Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ball Corporation presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $43.90.
Ball Corporation (NYSE BLL) traded up 1.18% during trading on Thursday, hitting $42.92. The stock had a trading volume of 1,477,708 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $41.74 and its 200-day moving average is $64.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.07 billion, a PE ratio of 31.93 and a beta of 0.96. Ball Corporation has a 52-week low of $34.34 and a 52-week high of $42.96.
Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34 by $0.04. Ball Corporation had a return on equity of 16.46% and a net margin of 4.59%. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 40.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Ball Corporation will post $2.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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In other news, COO Daniel William Fisher sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.75, for a total value of $79,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 4,922 shares in the company, valued at $392,529.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 2,717 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.62, for a total value of $219,044.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 206,255 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,628,278.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 77,732 shares of company stock valued at $3,309,230. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $126,000. Ledyard National Bank boosted its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 520.0% in the second quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 3,100 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 2,600 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services boosted its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 17.1% in the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,797 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 262 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $201,000. Finally, Baird Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ball Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.61% of the company’s stock.
About Ball Corporation
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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