IFM Investors Pty Ltd increased its holdings in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 11.0% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 21,333 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after buying an additional 2,110 shares during the quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Ball were worth $1,234,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Global Retirement Partners LLC raised its stake in Ball by 281.1% during the 4th quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 475 shares during the period. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ball in the 1st quarter valued at about $30,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ball in the 4th quarter valued at about $32,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Ball by 4,406.0% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $37,000 after purchasing an additional 1,682,073 shares during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Ball by 24.5% in the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,062 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $48,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the period. 87.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 91,701 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total value of $5,061,895.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 467,844 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,824,988.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Nate C. Carey sold 1,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.59, for a total value of $105,621.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 16,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $908,118.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 137,399 shares of company stock valued at $7,566,622 in the last 90 days. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $2.80 billion during 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%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Ball Co. will post 2.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Ball declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, January 23rd that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the industrial products company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Several research firms have issued reports on BLL. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup lifted their price target on Ball from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.59.
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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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