) reached a new 52-week high of $59.98 on May 14 and eventually
closed trade at $59.69. The stock has been gaining momentum since
reporting upbeat earnings results for the first quarter of 2014 on
May 1. Moreover, this metal and plastic packaging manufacturer for
beverages and foods, has amassed a year-over-year return of 32.33%,
outperforming the S&P 500 return of 18.1%. Average volume of
shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 1025K.
Ball Corporation has a market cap of $8.32 billion. In the past 52
weeks, Ball Corporation has traded between a low of $41.52 and the
current high of $59.69. Shares of the company are currently trading
at a forward price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.88x, a 2% discount to
the peer group average of 16.14x. Ball Corporation has long-term
estimated earnings per share growth rate of 11.07%.
What's Driving Ball Corporation Upward?
The upsurge in the stock price reflects the company's positive
earnings momentum. We have observed that Ball Corporation has
beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last 4 quarters,
registering an average positive surprise of 11.41%. In the last
concluded quarter, earnings per share outdid the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 19.12%.
Ball Corporation reported first-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings of
81 cents per share, which outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 68 cents. Moreover, the reported figure surged 40% from the
year-ago quarter, aided by global packaging volume growth and
The company affirmed its free cash flow range of $550 million for
full-year 2014. The company has maintained its long-term diluted
earnings per share growth goal of 10-15%.
Ball Corporation will continue to benefit from product launches and
expansion in emerging markets. Moreover, the company believes that
there is growth potential in many of its segments. Metal beverage
packaging, Americas & Asia will benefit from the Alagoinhas
plant's third production line in Brazil, which is on track. This
increased capacity will help the company to capitalize on the
increased demand spurred by the upcoming soccer World Cup in
In December, Ball acquired Envases del Plata S.A. de C.V., a
leading producer of extruded aluminium aerosol packaging in Mexico.
Demand for extruded aluminum packaging for personal care products
continues to increase, thus providing new opportunities for Ball's
growing business. Ball has also initiated cost cutting measures in
Europe, the benefits of which are expected to be realized in 2014
Other Stocks to Consider
Ball Corporation retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks in the same sector include
Crown Holdings Inc.
Sealed Air Corporation
Graphic Packaging Holding Company
). While Crown Holdings sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sealed
Air and Graphic Packaging carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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