Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $64.68 and last traded at $64.68, with a volume of 132209 shares. The stock had previously closed at $64.31.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Citigroup lifted their target price on Ball from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. BMO Capital Markets cut Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ball from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.59.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 1.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84. The company has a market cap of $21.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.84, a PEG ratio of 4.48 and a beta of 0.83.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The industrial products company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.01). Ball had a net margin of 3.83% and a return on equity of 20.39%. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.66 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.50 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Ball Co. will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This is a boost from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Ball’s payout ratio is 18.18%.

Ball declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, January 23rd that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the industrial products company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 8,955 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.43, for a total transaction of $496,375.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 467,854 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,933,147.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 9,100 shares of Ball stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total value of $527,527.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 468,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,136,626.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 34,132 shares of company stock valued at $1,969,583. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its holdings in shares of Ball by 168.8% during the 4th quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 306,988 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $14,114,000 after buying an additional 192,786 shares during the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System lifted its holdings in Ball by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 453,298 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $20,843,000 after purchasing an additional 9,526 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in Ball by 4,406.0% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $37,000 after purchasing an additional 1,682,073 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd lifted its holdings in Ball by 10.2% in the 4th quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 19,223 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $884,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Ball in the 4th quarter worth approximately $964,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.32% of the company’s stock.

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About Ball (NYSE:BLL)

Ball Corp. provides metal packaging for beverages, foods and household products, and of aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and governmental customers. It operates through the following business segments: Beverage Packaging, North and Central America; Beverage Packaging, South America; Beverage Packaging, Europe; Food and Aerosol Packaging; and Aerospace.

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