Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors 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 equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Ball Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Ball Corporation in a report on Sunday, June 25th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ball Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $39.50 target price on shares of Ball Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Ball Corporation from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $43.90.

Shares of Ball Corporation (BLL) opened at 42.53 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $41.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $64.21. Ball Corporation has a 12 month low of $34.34 and a 12 month high of $42.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.64 and a beta of 0.96.

Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34 by $0.04. Ball Corporation had a net margin of 4.59% and a return on equity of 16.46%. The business had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.41 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 40.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Ball Corporation will post $2.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Ball Corporation news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 2,717 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.62, for a total transaction of $219,044.54. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 206,255 shares in the company, valued at $16,628,278.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director R David Hoover sold 22,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.75, for a total transaction of $874,500.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 205,260 shares in the company, valued at $8,159,085. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 77,732 shares of company stock worth $3,309,230 over the last 90 days. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Cleararc Capital Inc. raised its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 4,297 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $319,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp raised its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 2.1% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 3,646 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $271,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 3.3% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,720 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $202,000 after buying an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. HCR Wealth Advisors raised its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 2.1% in the first quarter. HCR Wealth Advisors now owns 4,902 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $344,000 after buying an additional 101 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HighTower Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Ball Corporation by 0.8% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 14,201 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,055,000 after buying an additional 109 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 43.61% of the company’s stock.

Ball Corporation Company Profile

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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