Ball Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Beats Analyst Views As Sales Rise 17.9%

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the first quarter. Ball Corporation supplies metal and plastic packaging to the household products, food and beverage industries as well as aerospace and other technologies and services to governmental and commercial customers.

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Ball Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the packaging and containers company rose to $91.3 million (54 cents/share) vs. $79.3 million (42 cents/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A rise of 15.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 17.9% to $2.01 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: BLL beat the mean analyst estimate of 48 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 44 cents per share to 51 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “Momentum from our strong results in 2010 continues into 2011 as we leverage our considerable strengths to grow with our customers in both mature and emerging markets. Our overall strong volume growth in each of our businesses, the impact of the consolidation of our Brazilian joint venture, the acquisitions of our North American slug and European extruded aluminum aerosol businesses and Chinese beverage can joint venture, growth in our aerospace segment and excellent operating performance across all of our businesses contributed to Ball’s first quarter results,” said John A. Hayes, president and chief executive officer.

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 13.3% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose more than twofold.

Gross margins grew 2.2 percentage points to 18.9%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose 17.9% from the year earlier quarter while costs rose 14.8%.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 8% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the most recent quarter, when revenue rose 17.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCK), Silgan Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SLGN), Rexam PLC (REXMY), Bway Holding Company (BWY), and Dominguez y Cia., S.A. (NYSE:DOM).

Today’s Performance: Shares of BLL are trading at $37.43 as of April 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM ET, up 1.3% from the previous closing price of $37.01.

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