Ball Co. (NYSE:BALL – Get Free Report) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 7,276 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 69% compared to the average daily volume of 4,306 call options.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of research firms recently issued reports on BALL. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Ball from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Bank of America downgraded shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $65.00 to $63.00 in a report on Monday, July 10th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $65.00 to $58.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their target price on shares of Ball from $55.00 to $46.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Barclays upgraded shares of Ball from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $61.00 to $59.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Ball has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.92.
Ball Trading Up 2.7 %
Ball (NYSE:BALL – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.84 billion. Ball had a net margin of 5.48% and a return on equity of 21.43%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.82 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Ball will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ball Dividend Announcement
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 31.75%.
Insider Buying and Selling
In other Ball news, VP Deron Goodwin sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.85, for a total value of $26,425.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 12,001 shares in the company, valued at approximately $634,252.85. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In other news, insider David A. Kaufman sold 3,820 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.41, for a total value of $200,206.20. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,861 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $464,405.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Deron Goodwin sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.85, for a total transaction of $26,425.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 12,001 shares in the company, valued at approximately $634,252.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional Trading of Ball
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Ball by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,680,025 shares of the company’s stock worth $92,586,000 after purchasing an additional 44,526 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Ball by 10.4% in the 1st quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 24,286 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,338,000 after purchasing an additional 2,281 shares during the last quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina raised its position in shares of Ball by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 139,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,673,000 after purchasing an additional 870 shares during the last quarter. Y Intercept Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in Ball in the 1st quarter worth about $495,000. Finally, Wealthfront Advisers LLC raised its position in Ball by 25.3% in the 1st quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC now owns 9,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $526,000 after buying an additional 1,926 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.79% of the company’s stock.
Ball Company Profile
Ball Corp. provides metal packaging for beverages, foods, and household products. It operates through the following business segments: Beverage Packaging North and Central America, Beverage Packaging South America, Beverage Packaging Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Aerospace. The Beverage Packaging North and Central America segment includes multi-year supply contracts to fillers of carbonated soft drinks, beer, energy drinks, and other beverages.
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