Ball (BLL) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ball (NYSE:BLL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects that its free cash flow will be around $800 million and capital spending will be in excess of $700 million in 2018. The company continues to face headwinds in domestic beer consumption. Further, it anticipates tougher year-over-year comparisons in second-half 2018 for the Brazilian business, due to the lack of profit recorded on the INS manufacturing contract in 2017. The business will also witness political disruptions due to the upcoming elections. Ball Corporation will also face headwinds related to currency. Further, ongoing geopolitical volatility will impact Middle Eastern operations. “

BLL has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Ball in a report on Monday, August 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ball from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday. Deutsche Bank set a $51.00 target price on shares of Ball and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, Barclays upped their target price on shares of Ball from $42.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $47.23.

Shares of NYSE BLL opened at $45.93 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.51, a P/E/G ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79. Ball has a one year low of $34.71 and a one year high of $46.18.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.58. The company had revenue of $3.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.01 billion. Ball had a net margin of 4.12% and a return on equity of 19.93%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.53 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Ball will post 2.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 4th were issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 31st. Ball’s payout ratio is 19.61%.

In other news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.40, for a total transaction of $1,110,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 30,392 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,349,404.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 96,667 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.00, for a total transaction of $4,156,681.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 471,228 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,262,804. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Adviser Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ball during the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ball during the 2nd quarter valued at about $145,000. Creative Planning acquired a new position in Ball in the second quarter valued at about $215,000. Visionary Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Ball in the third quarter valued at about $220,000. Finally, Cozad Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Ball in the second quarter valued at about $254,000. 85.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ball

Ball Corporation supplies metal packaging products to the beverage, food, personal care, and household products industries. It operates in five segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; Food and Aerosol Packaging; and Aerospace.

See Also: Intrinsic Value

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