Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) and Bemis (NYSE:BMS) are both mid-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.0% of Ball Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.3% of Bemis shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Ball Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Bemis shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Ball Corporation has a beta of 0.95, meaning that its share price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Bemis has a beta of 0.9, meaning that its share price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Ball Corporation and Bemis, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ball Corporation 0 6 4 0 2.40
Bemis 2 4 3 0 2.11

Ball Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $43.61, indicating a potential upside of 8.30%. Bemis has a consensus target price of $48.75, indicating a potential upside of 16.07%. Given Bemis’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Bemis is more favorable than Ball Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Ball Corporation and Bemis’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ball Corporation 1.70% 17.63% 3.92%
Bemis 5.18% 18.53% 6.23%

Dividends

Ball Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Bemis pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Ball Corporation pays out 78.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Bemis pays out 54.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Bemis has increased its dividend for 33 consecutive years. Bemis is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Ball Corporation and Bemis’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ball Corporation $10.60 billion 1.34 $1.59 billion $0.51 78.96
Bemis $4.02 billion 0.95 $562.80 million $2.21 19.00

Ball Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Bemis. Bemis is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ball Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Bemis beats Ball Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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. Its major product line is aluminum and steel beverage containers. It produces steel food, aerosol and extruded aluminum aerosol containers and aluminum slugs. Its aerospace business designs, develops and manufactures aerospace systems for civil, commercial and national cyber security aerospace markets. It produces spacecraft, instruments and sensors, radio frequency systems and components, data exploitation solutions and a range of aerospace technologies and products.

Bemis Company Profile

Bemis Company, Inc. is a manufacturer of packaging products. The Company operates through two segments: U.S. Packaging and Global Packaging. The U.S. Packaging segment represents all food, consumer, and industrial products packaging-related manufacturing operations located in the United States. The Global Packaging segment includes all packaging-related manufacturing operations located outside of the United States, as well as global medical device and pharmaceutical packaging-related manufacturing operations. This segment manufactures multilayer polymer, blown and cast film structures to produce packaging sold for a range of food, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, and industrial applications. Its products are sold to customers in the food industry. The Company’s other customers include companies in various types of businesses, including chemical, agribusiness, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, construction, and other consumer goods.

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