Hanseatic Management Services Inc. lifted its holdings in Ball Co. (NYSE:BLL) by 7.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 29,307 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after buying an additional 2,139 shares during the period. Ball makes up approximately 1.8% of Hanseatic Management Services Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 6th biggest holding. Hanseatic Management Services Inc.’s holdings in Ball were worth $1,696,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

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

Shares of Ball stock traded down $0.21 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $62.19. The stock had a trading volume of 13,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,408,294. The stock has a market cap of $20.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.30, a PEG ratio of 4.36 and a beta of 0.83. Ball Co. has a 12 month low of $34.71 and a 12 month high of $65.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 1.09.

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

Ball announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 23rd that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the industrial products company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. This is a positive change from Ball’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.96%. Ball’s payout ratio is 18.18%.

In related news, Chairman John A. Hayes sold 8,955 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.43, for a total value of $496,375.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 467,854 shares in the company, valued at $25,933,147.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Robert D. Strain sold 5,066 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.93, for a total transaction of $278,275.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 47,747 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,622,742.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 43,329 shares of company stock valued at $2,544,632 over the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ball from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of Ball from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Ball from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.10 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley set a $55.00 target price on shares of Ball and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Ball from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ball has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.26.

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About Ball

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ball (NYSE:BLL)

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