Traders sold shares of Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) on strength during trading on Wednesday after an insider sold shares in the company. $28.10 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $86.17 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $58.07 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Ball had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Ball traded up $0.48 for the day and closed at $57.11Specifically, COO Daniel William Fisher sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total value of $371,910.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 38,661 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,054,058.93. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Scott C. Morrison sold 13,677 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total transaction of $725,017.77. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 459,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,349,401.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 128,299 shares of company stock valued at $7,039,095 over the last 90 days. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on BLL shares. Morgan Stanley set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Ball and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Citigroup decreased their price objective on shares of Ball from $55.00 to $52.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, January 7th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ball in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Finally, UBS Group lowered shares of Ball from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.08.

The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.93 billion, a PE ratio of 26.03, a P/E/G ratio of 3.94 and a beta of 0.82.

Ball (NYSE:BLL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The industrial products company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by ($0.01). Ball had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 3.90%. The company had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.68 billion. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Ball Co. will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.70%. Ball’s payout ratio is 18.18%.

Ball announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Global Retirement Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ball by 281.1% during the 4th quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 644 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ball during the 4th quarter valued at $32,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in shares of Ball by 4,406.0% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,720,250 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $37,000 after purchasing an additional 1,682,073 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc raised its holdings in shares of Ball by 24.5% during the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,062 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $48,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ball by 29.0% during the 4th quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $49,000 after purchasing an additional 238 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.03% 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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