Eaton Vance Management Raises Stake in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL)

Eaton Vance Management raised its holdings in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 70.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,601,557 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,077,639 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management owned about 0.74% of Ball worth $103,308,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board lifted its stake in Ball by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 33,828 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,280,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its position in Ball by 63.0% during the fourth quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,881 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 2.0% during the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 75,499 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,997,000 after acquiring an additional 1,501 shares in the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 9.8% during the fourth quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 16,968 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $642,000 after acquiring an additional 1,512 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its holdings in shares of Ball by 17.5% during the first quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 11,210 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $445,000 after acquiring an additional 1,669 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.95% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on BLL. TheStreet upgraded Ball from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 13th. ValuEngine downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. JPMorgan Chase restated an “overweight” rating and set a $48.00 price target (up from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, May 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.38.

In other Ball news, SVP Lisa Ann Pauley sold 18,660 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.44, for a total value of $735,950.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 122,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,819,883.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Daniel William Fisher acquired 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $40.10 per share, for a total transaction of $360,900.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 30,007 shares of company stock worth $1,191,115 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BLL stock opened at $37.99 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 0.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.62, a PEG ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 0.87. Ball Co. has a twelve month low of $37.72 and a twelve month high of $37.94.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The industrial products company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.58 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 19.86% and a net margin of 4.04%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.38 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Ball Co. will post 2.33 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 1st will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 31st. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.61%.

Ball declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, April 25th that permits the company to repurchase 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Ball Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ball (NYSE:BLL)

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