) reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 64 cents per
share, up 33% from the year-ago adjusted earnings of 48 cents,
but short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents. Including
business consolidation charges and other one-time items, the
company reported earnings from continuing operations of 39 cents
per share compared with the year-ago earnings of 47 cents.
Total revenue increased 3% year over year to $2.114 billion,
ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.107 billion. Cost of
sales edged up 1.6% year over year to $1.729 billion. Selling,
general and administrative expenses increased 1.8% to $101
million in the reported quarter.
Metal Beverage Packaging, Americas & Asia segment's sales
increased 1.9% year over year to $1.115 billion in the quarter.
The growth was attributable to strong demand for specialty
packaging in North America and Brazil. Operating earnings rose
15% to $138 million in the quarter as excellent operating
performance offset increased manufacturing costs.
Sales from the Metal Beverage Packaging, Europe segment
decreased 3% year over year to $437 million in the quarter.
Strong demand for specialty containers, extruded aluminum aerosol
packaging helped offset the impact of weak demand for beer.
Operating earnings declined 7.8% to $37.8 million in the quarter
due to unfavorable currency exchange movements.
Metal Food & Household Products Packaging, America segment
sales declined 0.2% to $320 million. Operating earnings, however,
improved a significant 118% to $28.6 million. The improvement was
driven by improved manufacturing efficiencies across the
segment's businesses, which nearly offset the negative impact of
a disappointing 2012 vegetable harvest and lack of inventory
holding gains from the prior year.
In the Aerospace and Technologies segment, sales increased 32%
to $245 million. Operating earnings increased 34% to $24 million
in the quarter. The segment had a backlog of $1 billion at the
end of the quarter.
Fiscal 2012 Performance
Ball reported adjusted EPS of $3.06 in fiscal 2012, up 12%
from $2.73 in fiscal 2011, but missed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $3.08. Including one-time items, EPS in the reported
fiscal stood at $2.57, down 2.7% from the year-ago EPS of
Revenues stood at $8.736 billion, up 1.2% from $8.63 billion
in 2011, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,731
Cash and cash equivalents were $174 million as of 2012 end
compared with $166 million as of 2011 end. Long-term debt
amounted to $3.1 billion as of 2012 end, compared with $2.7
billion as of 2011 end. Cash flow from operating activities was
$853 in 2012 versus $948 million in 2011. Free cash flow
generated during the year was $548 million compared with $505
million in the prior fiscal.
Ball announced a 30% hike in the company's quarterly cash
dividend to 13 cents per share. The increased dividend will be
paid on Mar 15 to shareholders of record as of Mar 1.
The company expects free cash flow of approximately $450
million as spending for certain growth investments announced but
not completed in 2012 will shift into 2013, including capacity to
produce specialty containers in North America and Brazil. It
plans to reduce expenses and focus on growth opportunities in
order to sustain the weak global economic conditions. The company
remains focused on attaining its long-term goal of 10% to 15%
earnings per share growth. Moreover, weak economic condition in
Europe will be a headwind in the upcoming quarters.
Broomfield, Colorado-based Ball Corp. is a manufacturer of
metal and plastic packaging, primarily for beverages and foods.
It also supplies aerospace and other technologies and services to
government and commercial customers. Ball Corp. retains a
short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another company in the same
Mobile Mini, Inc.
) will announce its results on Feb 22. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate is at 89 cents, projecting 16.7% year-over-year
Silgan Holdings Inc.
) reported record adjusted EPS of $2.70 in fiscal 2012, up 3%
from $2.63 in fiscal 2011 and a penny ahead of the Zacks
Crown Holdings Inc.
) reported EPS of $2.81 in fiscal 2012, flat year over year, and
missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.84.
BALL CORP (BLL): Free Stock Analysis Report
CROWN HLDGS INC (CCK): Free Stock Analysis
MOBILE MINI INC (MINI): Free Stock Analysis
SILGAN HOLDINGS (SLGN): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.