Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 76.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 35,388 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after buying an additional 15,316 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC’s holdings in Ball were worth $2,628,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of BLL. Three Peaks Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Ball by 5.1% in the third quarter. Three Peaks Capital Management LLC now owns 149,061 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $12,216,000 after buying an additional 7,297 shares in the last quarter. Cigna Investments Inc. New purchased a new position in Ball during the fourth quarter worth about $475,000. Capstone Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in Ball by 21.7% in the fourth quarter. Capstone Investment Advisors LLC now owns 22,012 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,652,000 after buying an additional 3,921 shares during the period. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Ball during the fourth quarter worth about $425,000. Finally, CWM LLC purchased a new position in Ball during the first quarter worth about $4,529,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.42% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) traded up 0.73% during trading on Friday, reaching $40.04. The company had a trading volume of 2,170,297 shares. Ball Co. has a 1-year low of $39.34 and a 1-year high of $82.24. The company’s 50 day moving average is $73.56 and its 200-day moving average is $74.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.79 and a beta of 0.98.
Ball (NYSE:BLL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.04. Ball had a net margin of 2.81% and a return on equity of 18.44%. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.41 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 40.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ball Co. will post $2.15 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 1st will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.00%. This is a positive change from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 30th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.23%.
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A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on BLL shares. Jefferies Group LLC dropped their price target on Ball from $46.50 to $45.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, February 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc started coverage on Ball in a research note on Thursday, March 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TheStreet downgraded Ball from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $39.50 price target on shares of Ball in a research note on Tuesday, March 14th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Ball presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $42.23.
In other Ball news, Director R David Hoover sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.07, for a total value of $370,350.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 112,462 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,330,060.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Daniel J. Heinrich purchased 1,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $72.27 per share, for a total transaction of $126,472.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 3,373 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $243,766.71. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 41,793 shares of company stock worth $2,359,750. 3.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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