Ball Co. (BLL) Short Interest Update

Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in the month of December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 20,025,835 shares, a decline of 15.8% from the November 30th total of 23,780,097 shares. Currently, 5.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 3,440,810 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.8 days.

In other Ball news, COO James N. Peterson sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.05, for a total value of $51,329.45. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 38,008 shares in the company, valued at $1,446,204.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 5,695 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.29, for a total transaction of $235,146.55. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 407,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,845,205.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,182 shares of company stock worth $747,206 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BLL. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in Ball by 5,297.8% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,483 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 2,437 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its position in Ball by 100.0% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 4,123 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $174,000 after purchasing an additional 2,061 shares during the period. Howe & Rusling Inc. bought a new position in Ball during the third quarter valued at approximately $182,000. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new position in Ball during the second quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd bought a new position in Ball during the third quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.48% of the company’s stock.

BLL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on shares of Ball in a research report on Monday, October 9th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ball from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Ball from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $48.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target on shares of Ball in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, UBS Group started coverage on shares of Ball in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.00.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) opened at $38.63 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $13,520.00, a P/E ratio of 52.20, a PEG ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 0.97. Ball has a 52 week low of $35.65 and a 52 week high of $43.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.59 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $2.91 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.91 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 18.31% and a net margin of 2.13%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.48 EPS. research analysts forecast that Ball will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. Ball’s dividend payout ratio is presently 54.05%.

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Ball Company Profile

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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