Sentry Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 40.0% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 19,326 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,518 shares during the quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Ball were worth $731,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in BLL. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT raised its holdings in Ball by 25.8% in the 3rd quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 7,871,056 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $325,075,000 after purchasing an additional 1,613,246 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its holdings in Ball by 19.2% in the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,074,776 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $168,289,000 after purchasing an additional 656,667 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Ball by 23.1% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,203,954 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $132,323,000 after purchasing an additional 602,244 shares during the period. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC raised its holdings in Ball by 23.3% in the 3rd quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 2,818,408 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $116,400,000 after purchasing an additional 533,516 shares during the period. Finally, MUFG Securities EMEA plc raised its holdings in Ball by 371.3% in the 4th quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 471,300 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $17,839,000 after purchasing an additional 371,300 shares during the period. 89.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
A number of equities analysts recently commented on BLL shares. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Citigroup upgraded Ball from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on Ball from $45.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, TheStreet lowered Ball from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Ball currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.21.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 19.20% and a net margin of 3.63%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.44 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Ball Co. will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Ball’s payout ratio is 35.71%.
In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 6,782 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.61, for a total transaction of $261,853.02. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 398,485 shares in the company, valued at $15,385,505.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 5,519 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.74, for a total value of $224,844.06. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 408,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,640,293.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 16,241 shares of company stock valued at $638,091. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of metal packaging to the beverage, food, personal care and household products industries. The Company’s packaging products are produced for a range of end uses and are manufactured in facilities around the world. Its segments include beverage packaging, North and Central America; beverage packaging, South America; beverage packaging, Europe; food and aerosol packaging; aerospace, and other.
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