Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV lowered its holdings in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 10.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 48,860 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 5,724 shares during the period. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV’s holdings in Ball were worth $2,827,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of BLL. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Ball during the fourth quarter worth $137,213,000. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT boosted its stake in Ball by 3,245.4% during the fourth quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 2,733,765 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $125,699,000 after buying an additional 2,652,049 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in Ball by 4,406.0% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $37,000 after buying an additional 1,682,073 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Ball by 170.0% during the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,981,488 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $91,109,000 after buying an additional 1,247,491 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted its stake in Ball by 70.6% during the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 2,427,814 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $111,625,000 after buying an additional 1,004,744 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.32% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on BLL shares. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Ball in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, January 21st. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on Ball from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group cut Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, February 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on Ball from $56.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.59.
In related news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,111 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.66, for a total value of $561,784.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 472,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,112,214.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Robert D. Strain sold 5,066 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.93, for a total value of $278,275.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 47,747 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,622,742.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 34,132 shares of company stock valued at $1,969,583 over the last ninety days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Shares of NYSE BLL opened at $63.44 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.09 and a quick ratio of 0.77. Ball Co. has a 52-week low of $34.71 and a 52-week high of $65.31. The firm has a market cap of $21.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.84, a P/E/G ratio of 4.48 and a beta of 0.83.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.01). Ball had a net margin of 3.83% and a return on equity of 20.39%. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.66 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.50 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Ball Co. will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.95%. This is a boost from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. Ball’s payout ratio is currently 18.18%.
Ball declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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