Ball (NYSE:BLL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ball (NYSE:BLL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $96.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ball Corp has been benefiting from the rising demand for beverage cans due to the shift in customer preference toward cans over other packaging formats on account of increasing awareness about the environment. Higher at-home consumption amid the COVID-19 pandemic also provided a significant boost. Thus, Ball Corp has been investing in expanding production capacity to meet this demand. On the flipside, the associated higher start-up costs are likely to impact near-term results. Higher labor and raw material costs and supply constraints will also likely impact the company's results in the near term. The company's high debt levels remains a concern. Nevertheless, focus on launching new products and efforts to cut down costs will driveresults. Robust backlog levels and business wins bodes well for the Aerospace segment's performance.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Truist boosted their price objective on shares of Ball from $100.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Truist Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Ball from $100.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Wednesday. Seaport Res Ptn reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Wednesday, October 20th. Mizuho decreased their price target on shares of Ball from $104.00 to $102.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 5th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of Ball from $95.00 to $98.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Monday, September 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $100.82.

NYSE BLL opened at $90.59 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.06. The firm has a market cap of $29.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.28, a PEG ratio of 4.51 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a 50 day moving average of $92.70 and a 200-day moving average of $90.48. Ball has a 1-year low of $77.95 and a 1-year high of $98.09.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by ($0.04). Ball had a net margin of 6.10% and a return on equity of 30.98%. The business had revenue of $3.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.52 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.89 earnings per share. Ball’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Ball will post 3.42 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 1st were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 30th. Ball’s payout ratio is currently 32.92%.

In related news, COO Ronald J. Lewis acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 9th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $91.26 per share, for a total transaction of $912,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, President Daniel William Fisher bought 7,000 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 24th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $93.89 per share, with a total value of $657,230.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Ball by 6.7% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,698,461 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,312,091,000 after purchasing an additional 1,605,959 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 15,028,931 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,217,644,000 after acquiring an additional 787,825 shares during the last quarter. Parnassus Investments LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ball in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $817,766,000. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 30.7% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 7,283,297 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $655,277,000 after acquiring an additional 1,709,694 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 19.2% in the 3rd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 6,271,300 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $564,228,000 after acquiring an additional 1,007,998 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.63% of the company’s stock.

Ball Company Profile

Ball Corp. provides metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products. It operates through the following business segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; and Aerospace. The Beverage Packaging, North and Central America segment sold under multi-year supply contracts to fillers of carbonated soft drinks, beer, energy drinks, and other beverages.

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