) reported third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 86 cents per
share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 73 cents.
Moreover, the reported figure was up 34% from the year-ago
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On a reported basis, earnings came in at 85 cents per share,
compared with 39 cents in the prior-year quarter.
Total revenue declined 4.7% year over year to $2 billion from
$2.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. Revenues also fell short of
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.09 billion.
Cost of sales decreased 8.3% year over year to $1.5 billion.
Gross profit grew 6.7% year over year to $410.7 million and gross
margin expanded 200 basis points (bps) to 20%.
Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 6.3% year
over year to $107.4 million. Adjusted operating income remained
increased 7.5% to $227 million from $211.1 million in the
year-ago quarter. Consequently, operating margin grew 100 bps to
Metal Beverage Packaging, Americas & Asia
segment reported revenues of $1 billion in the reported quarter,
compared with $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. However,
operating earnings grew 6.7% year over year to $147.3 million.
The segment's performance was driven by favorable contribution of
the second production line in Alagoinhas, Brazil and the
relocation of the Shenzhen plant to the company's existing Foshan
plant to maximize efficiencies. These positives, however, were
partially offset by volume growth in specialty containers.
Sales from the
Metal Beverage Packaging, Europe
segment increased 8.4% year over year to $427.8 million.
Operating earnings also rose 33% year over year to $39.4 million
in the quarter, led by strong demand for beverage containers
across the region and progress on cost-out initiatives.
Metal Food & Household Products Packaging
segment sales went down 4.9% year over year to $345.2 million.
Operating earnings remained flat at $36.8 million in the reported
compared to the year ago quarter.
Aerospace and Technologies
segment, sales declined 9.3% year over year to $222.1 million.
Operating earnings on the other hand, increased 3.7% year over
year to $25.1 million.
Ball Corporation ended 2013 with cash and short-term investments
of $416 million, up from $174 million in 2012. The company's
total debt increased to $3.6 billion as of Dec 31, 2013 from $3.3
billion as of Dec 31, 2012.
Total cash flow from operating activities was $839 million in
2013 versus $853 million in 2012. Free cash flow was $461 million
for the full year 2013 as against $548 million in 2012.
The Board of Ball Corporation has sanctioned a stock repurchase
program on Jan 29, which allows the company to buy back up to 20
million shares. In addition, the company declared a quarterly
cash dividend of 13 cents per share.
Fiscal 2013 Performance
For full-year 2013, Ball Corporation reported adjusted earnings
per share (EPS) of $3.28, up 7.1% from $3.06 in 2012. The results
outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.15. Including
one-time items, EPS was $2.73 as compared with $2.55 per share in
the prior year.
Revenues for the year 2013 decreased 2.2% year over year to $8.5
billion. Revenues were in line with Zacks Consensus Estimate.
For the full year, Aerospace and Technologies segment had a
backlog of $938 million.
Ball Corporation expects free cash flow range of $550 million for
full-year 2014, after capital expenditures of approximately $375
million. The company has maintained its long-term diluted
earnings per share growth goal of 10%-15%.
The company will continue to benefit from product launches,
expansion into emerging markets and strong backlog in its
aerospace and technologies segment. Strong free cash flow,
dividends and share repurchases are also expected to generate
long-term shareholder value.
Moreover, the company sees growth potential in many segments.
Metal beverage packaging, Americas & Asia will benefit from
the Alagoinhas plant's third production line, which is on track.
However, uncertainty in the global economic scenario remains a
Broomfield, Colorado-based Ball Corporation is the largest
manufacturer of beverage cans in North America. It also supplies
aerospace as well as other technologies and services to the
government and customers.
Ball Corporation currently has a short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Among the company's peers,
Crown Holdings Inc.
Mobile Mini, Inc.
) are yet to announce their fourth-quarter results.
Another company of the same industry,
Silgan Holdings Inc.
) posted adjusted earnings of 45 cents in the fourth quarter of
2013, down 4.2% year over year. Moreover, the reported figure
lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 49 cents.