Research Analysts’ Recent Ratings Changes for Ball (BLL)

Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Ball (NYSE: BLL) in the last few weeks:

  • 5/17/2019 – Ball had its price target raised by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from $66.00 to $68.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 5/7/2019 – Ball was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects to achieve EBITDA of $2 billion and free cash flow of more than $1 billion in 2019. However, the company’s results are likely to bear the impact of headwinds related to currency, higher freight rates and tight metal supply in the United States. The company's performance will be marred by volatile volumes in the EMEA beverage can business owing to governmental regulation. Additionally, Saudi Arabia continues to be a very challenging environment for Ball Corporation. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises over the last few quarters. The estimate for first-quarter 2019 earnings has been revised downwards, ahead of first-quarter earnings release.”
  • 5/2/2019 – Ball had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at KeyCorp. They wrote, “We are reducing our estimates; we have consistently been below BLL’s 2019 adj. EBITDA guidance, and we remain so. BLL is generating substantial cash flow and returning a great deal of it to shareholders, but there has been a recent divergence between the share price and earnings estimates; one is going up while the other down. the past 12 months, the consensus 2019 adj. EPS estimate has declined by 1.5% while the shares are up 61% (the S&P 500 is up just 13% over that period). We mainly attribute the divergence to investors’ enthusiasm about the recent surge in global beverage can growth and the hope of more to come. Given the general absence of top- line growth stories within U.S.””
  • 5/1/2019 – Ball was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects to achieve EBITDA of $2 billion and free cash flow of more than $1 billion in 2019. However, the company’s results are likely to bear the impact of headwinds related to currency, higher freight rates and tight metal supply in the United States. The company's performance will be marred by volatile volumes in the EMEA beverage can business owing to governmental regulation. Additionally, Saudi Arabia continues to be a very challenging environment for Ball Corporation. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises over the last few quarters. The estimate for first-quarter 2019 earnings has been revised downwards, ahead of first-quarter earnings release.”
  • 4/22/2019 – Ball was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects to achieve EBITDA of $2 billion and free cash flow of more than $1 billion in 2019. In 2019 and beyond, the company expects its earnings per share to be up 10-15%. Ball Corporation will benefit from lower debt level, strong cash flow and EVA returns. Strong backlog, new products and focus on cost-cutting actions will drive growth. Over the past year, the stock has outperformed its industry. However, Ball Corporation's performance will be hurt by headwinds related to currency, higher freight rates and tight metal supply in the United States.”
  • 4/17/2019 – Ball had its price target raised by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $55.00 to $63.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 4/11/2019 – Ball was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Ball Corporation expects to achieve EBITDA of $2 billion and free cash flow of more than $1 billion in 2019. However, the company’s results are likely to bear the impact of headwinds related to currency, higher freight rates and tight metal supply in the United States. The company's performance will be marred by volatile volumes in the EMEA beverage can business owing to governmental regulation. Additionally, Saudi Arabia continues to be a very challenging environment for Ball Corporation. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises over the last few quarters. The estimate for first-quarter 2019 earnings has been revised downwards, ahead of its first-quarter earnings release.”
  • 4/8/2019 – Ball was downgraded by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating. They now have a $58.10 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
  • 4/5/2019 – Ball had its price target raised by analysts at Citigroup Inc from $61.00 to $68.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.

BLL remained flat at $$62.57 during trading on Friday. 1,500,769 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,407,601. The company has a market cap of $20.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.44, a PEG ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 0.83. Ball Co. has a 12-month low of $34.71 and a 12-month high of $65.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 1.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.66 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 20.39% and a net margin of 3.83%. The business’s revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.50 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Ball Co. will post 2.61 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.96%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. This is an increase from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.18%.

In related news, VP Robert D. Strain sold 5,066 shares of Ball stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.93, for a total value of $278,275.38. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 47,747 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,622,742.71. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 8,955 shares of Ball stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.43, for a total transaction of $496,375.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 467,854 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,933,147.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 37,029 shares of company stock worth $2,152,268 in the last quarter. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BLL. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in Ball by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 600,227 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $26,404,000 after purchasing an additional 14,863 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of Ball by 4.1% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,517,930 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $66,774,000 after acquiring an additional 59,270 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS boosted its position in shares of Ball by 24.7% during the 4th quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 59,185 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,721,000 after acquiring an additional 11,725 shares in the last quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ball during the 4th quarter valued at about $2,021,000. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ball by 29.0% during the 4th quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $49,000 after acquiring an additional 238 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.32% of the company’s stock.

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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