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Ball Corp (BLL) Q4 Earnings & Sales Top Estimates, Up Y/Y

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Ball Corporation BLL reported fourth-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of 97 cents per share, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 90 cents. The bottom line improved 20% on a year-over-year basis.

On a reported basis, the company’s earnings were 90 cents per share compared with the prior-year quarter’s 68 cents.

Total sales came in at $3,674 million in the reported quarter, up 18.4% from the year-ago quarter. The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,582.4 million. All the segments reported higher sales volume on the back of higher shipments. In the quarter, global beverage-can volumes were up 7%.

Operational Update

Cost of sales amounted to $2,981 million in fourth-quarter 2021, up 21.8% from the year-ago quarter. The gross profit totaled $693 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s $654 million. The gross margin came in at 18.9%, down from 21.1%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses declined 25% year over year to $122 million. The adjusted operating profit was $424 million compared with the prior-year quarter’s $362 million. The adjusted operating margin came in at 11.5% compared with the prior-year quarter’s 11.7%.

Ball Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Ball Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Ball Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Ball Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Ball Corporation Quote

Segment Performance

The Beverage packaging North and Central America segment revenues increased 16.6% to $1,517 million in the fourth quarter. Operating earnings amounted to $162 million, up 16.5% year over year.

Sales at the Beverage packaging, EMEA segment were $870 million in the quarter, up 13% year over year. Operating earnings were down 3% to $103 million.

The Beverage packaging South America segment’s revenues were $615 million in the reported quarter, up 16.2% year over year. Operating earnings were down 3.7% to $103 million.

In the Aerospace segment, sales were up 26% year over year to $530 million. Operating earnings increased 38.4% to $54 million. At the end of the quarter, the segment’s contracted backlog was $2.5 billion. Contracts already won but not yet booked into the current contracted backlog were $5 billion.

Financial Condition

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $563 million at the end of 2021, down from $1,366 million at the end of 2020. Cash flow generated from operating activities was $1,760 million in 2021 compared with the prior year’s $1,432 million. Ball Corp returned approximately $950 million to shareholders through the year while spending $1.7 billion on capital expenditures. The company’s long-term debt fell slightly to $7,722 million at the end of 2021 from $7,783 million at the end of 2020.

2021 Results

Ball Corp reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.49 in 2021, up 18% from the prior-year reported figure of $2.97. Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.42. Including one-time items, the bottom line came in at $2.65, up 51% from $1.76 reported in 2020.

Sales rose 17% year over year to $13.8 billion $11.8 billion. The top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13.7 billion.

Outlook

The company seeks to reap higher returns on newly commissioned investments from additional organic growth opportunities and through generating more shareholder returns through share repurchases and dividends in 2022. Its Drive for 10 vision, disciplined capital allocation and robust demand for sustainable packaging and technologies bode well for the company. It maintains its expectation to exceed its long-term diluted earnings per share growth goal of 10-15%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently Ball Corp carries a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the Industrial Products sector are Berry Global Group, Inc. BERY, AGCO Corporation AGCO and Sealed Air Corporation SEE, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Berry Global Group has an estimated earnings growth rate of around 2.9% for fiscal 2022. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised 2.5% upward.

In a year, BERY has increased 33.5%. Berry Global Group delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 16.5%, on average.

AGCO Corporation has an expected earnings growth rate of 16.4% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has moved 1.2% north in the past 60 days.

AGCO Corporation’s shares have gained 3.5% in the past year. AGCO delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 47.5%, on average.

Sealed Air has a projected earnings growth rate of 16.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved 0.9% north in the past 60 days.

SEE’s shares have gained 51.2% in a year. Sealed Air delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.5%, on average.


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