Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $3.03 Billion

Wall Street analysts forecast that Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) will post sales of $3.03 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Ball’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.86 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $3.11 billion. Ball reported sales of $3.10 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year over year growth rate of 2.3%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report before the market opens on Thursday, August 1st.

On average, analysts expect that Ball will report full-year sales of $11.79 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $11.41 billion to $12.03 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $12.35 billion, with estimates ranging from $11.82 billion to $12.77 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that follow Ball.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 20.39% and a net margin of 3.83%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.50 EPS.

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 Wednesday, May 1st. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on Ball from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Vertical Research downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Ball from $66.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $56.93.

NYSE:BLL traded down $0.23 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $70.69. 23,931 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,413,420. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.25, a P/E/G ratio of 5.00 and a beta of 0.80. Ball has a 1-year low of $37.10 and a 1-year high of $72.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.09 and a quick ratio of 0.77. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $65.98.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 3rd were paid a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.85%. This is a boost from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 31st. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.27%.

In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,523 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.98, for a total value of $675,942.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 437,979 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,087,749.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,111 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.66, for a total value of $561,784.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 472,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,112,214.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 42,078 shares of company stock valued at $2,746,288 over the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in BLL. Jackson Square Partners LLC bought a new position in Ball during the 1st quarter worth $254,594,000. Norges Bank bought a new position in Ball during the 4th quarter worth $137,213,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Ball by 170.0% during the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,981,488 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $91,109,000 after purchasing an additional 1,247,491 shares during the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG raised its position in Ball by 70.6% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 2,427,814 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $111,625,000 after purchasing an additional 1,004,744 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Ball by 2.7% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,146,380 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,281,389,000 after purchasing an additional 580,211 shares during the last quarter. 82.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ball Company Profile

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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