Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 13.2% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 907,498 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after acquiring an additional 105,797 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Ball were worth $34,264,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board lifted its holdings in Ball by 4.0% in the 4th quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 33,828 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,280,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC lifted its holdings in Ball by 5.0% in the 3rd quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC now owns 30,939 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,277,000 after purchasing an additional 1,485 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in Ball by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 180,150 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $7,440,000 after purchasing an additional 1,492 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its holdings in Ball by 63.0% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,881 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $147,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lifted its holdings in Ball by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 31,447 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,299,000 after purchasing an additional 1,524 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.53% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) opened at $39.62 on Monday. Ball Co. has a 52 week low of $35.60 and a 52 week high of $43.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,869.20, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. Ball’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.71%.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on BLL shares. Citigroup upgraded Ball from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, February 8th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Ball from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, December 4th. KeyCorp upgraded Ball from an “underweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on Ball from $45.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.21.
In related news, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 2,591 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.62, for a total transaction of $100,064.42. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 390,052 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,063,808.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through 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 stock was sold at an average price of $40.74, for a total value of $224,844.06. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 408,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,640,293.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 20,625 shares of company stock valued at $808,629 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.
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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