Granite Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund bought 6,000 shares of the industrial products company’s stock, valued at approximately $227,000.
Other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth about $121,000. Calton & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth about $125,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in Ball by 63.0% in the fourth quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,881 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in Ball in the fourth quarter worth about $164,000. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd purchased a new position in Ball in the third quarter worth about $209,000. 87.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) traded down $0.70 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.92. 1,299,819 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,438,959. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.54. The company has a market capitalization of $14,595.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.88. Ball Co. has a 12 month low of $35.60 and a 12 month high of $43.24.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 19.24%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.44 earnings per share. analysts predict that Ball Co. will post 2.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.71%.
In related news, COO James N. Peterson sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.05, for a total transaction of $51,329.45. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 38,008 shares in the company, valued at $1,446,204.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 6,782 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.61, for a total transaction of $261,853.02. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 398,485 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,385,505.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 47,677 shares of company stock valued at $1,867,290 over the last 90 days. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several research analysts have issued reports on the stock. KeyCorp cut shares of Ball from a “sector weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $40.81 to $36.00 in a report on Friday, December 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TheStreet upgraded shares of Ball from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Ball from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $48.00 price target (up from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.62.
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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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