Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,730,000 shares, a decline of 10.2% from the September 30th total of 6,380,000 shares. Currently, 1.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,290,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.5 days.

NYSE:BLL traded down $0.14 on Friday, hitting $65.60. The stock had a trading volume of 972,355 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,389,023. The company has a quick ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.91. The stock has a market cap of $21.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.82, a PEG ratio of 4.68 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $70.69 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $70.24. Ball has a 1-year low of $42.24 and a 1-year high of $81.88.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $2.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.05 billion. Ball had a net margin of 4.82% and a return on equity of 22.86%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.56 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Ball will post 2.53 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 2nd will be issued a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 29th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.91%. Ball’s payout ratio is 27.27%.

In related news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 16,091 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.01, for a total transaction of $1,190,894.91. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 448,787 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $33,214,725.87. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,465 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.48, for a total transaction of $629,233.20. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 438,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,137,918.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 76,216 shares of company stock valued at $5,785,286 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI acquired a new position in Ball in the 2nd quarter valued at about $224,000. Empowered Funds LLC acquired a new position in Ball in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,291,000. Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Ball in the 2nd quarter valued at about $213,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in Ball by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 21,447 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,501,000 after purchasing an additional 925 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama boosted its holdings in Ball by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 156,110 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $10,926,000 after purchasing an additional 428 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.19% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on BLL. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Friday, November 1st. Vertical Research raised shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Ball from $60.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Ball in a research note on Wednesday, November 6th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.02.

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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