Gateway Investment Advisers LLC cut its stake in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 9.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 12,980 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 1,359 shares during the quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC’s holdings in Ball were worth $751,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of BLL. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in Ball by 5.6% in the third quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 31,897 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its holdings in Ball by 60.2% in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 9,440 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $415,000 after purchasing an additional 3,546 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC increased its holdings in Ball by 27.2% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 83,666 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,680,000 after purchasing an additional 17,872 shares in the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC increased its holdings in Ball by 138.0% in the third quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 11,983 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $527,000 after purchasing an additional 43,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Ball by 17.9% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 19,125 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $841,000 after purchasing an additional 2,910 shares in the last quarter. 87.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 13,677 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total transaction of $725,017.77. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 459,336 shares in the company, valued at $24,349,401.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, COO Daniel William Fisher sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total value of $371,910.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 38,661 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,054,058.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 137,399 shares of company stock valued at $7,566,622 in the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ball from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Ball from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted 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. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Ball has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.59.
NYSE BLL opened at $57.05 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $19.23 billion, a PE ratio of 25.93, a PEG ratio of 4.06 and a beta of 0.83. Ball Co. has a 52 week low of $34.71 and a 52 week high of $58.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.68 billion. Ball had a net margin of 3.90% and a return on equity of 20.08%. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ball Co. will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ball announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the industrial products company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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