Brokerages forecast that Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) will report $3.05 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have issued estimates for Ball’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $3.12 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $2.94 billion. Ball reported sales of $2.95 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 3.4%. The company is scheduled to report its next earnings results on Thursday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ball will report full-year sales of $11.75 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $11.52 billion to $11.93 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $12.41 billion, with estimates ranging from $12.08 billion to $12.73 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that follow Ball.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The industrial products company reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $3.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.03 billion. Ball had a return on equity of 21.32% and a net margin of 4.54%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.58 earnings per share.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $68.00 to $72.00 in a report on Monday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Ball from $71.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Ball from $60.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Ball from $81.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $63.46.

Ball stock traded down $0.49 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $74.51. The stock had a trading volume of 2,183,890 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,344,034. The company has a market cap of $24.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.87, a PEG ratio of 5.12 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 0.81. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $77.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $66.37. Ball has a 52 week low of $42.24 and a 52 week high of $81.88.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 3rd were paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 30th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.81%. Ball’s payout ratio is 27.27%.

In other news, Director Stuart A. Taylor II sold 48,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.41, for a total transaction of $3,715,680.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 146,966 shares in the company, valued at $11,376,638.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Charles E. Baker sold 19,563 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.06, for a total value of $1,566,213.78. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 215,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,230,753.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 137,974 shares of company stock worth $10,688,411 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Calton & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ball during the second quarter worth about $213,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Ball in the second quarter valued at approximately $236,000. Westpac Banking Corp boosted its position in Ball by 21.0% in the first quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 338,380 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $19,579,000 after buying an additional 58,724 shares during the last quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Ball by 115.1% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 41,712 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,413,000 after buying an additional 22,320 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AMI Asset Management Corp purchased a new stake in Ball in the second quarter valued at approximately $49,342,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.72% of the company’s stock.

Ball Company Profile

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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