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Ball results mixed in second quarter, no word on aerospace division sale

WESTMINSTER — Ball Corp. (NYSE: BALL) posted improved year-over-year bottom line results, beating Wall Street projections in the second quarter of 2023. However, sales fell short of last year’s tally and failed to live up to analysts’ expectations.

The Westminster can manufacturer with a major aerospace division confirmed this summer that it was considering offloading its space business unit, but was mum about progress on that front when it reported its second quarter results on Thursday. 

Net income for the second quarter was $173 million, an improvement on a loss of $174 million in the same period of 2022.

Ball posted adjusted income of 61 cents per share, surpassing Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents per share.

The company posted sales of $3.57 billion in the period, missing Zacks’ $3.81 billion projection.

Second quarter revenues were also down compared to the same period last year, when Ball posted sales of $4.13 billion.

“We delivered strong second quarter results despite lower global volumes driven largely by a U.S. beer customer’s brand disruption and tough year-over-year comparisons associated with 2022 business divestments and higher interest costs. Notable inflationary cost recovery, benefits of cost-out actions and a diversified customer mix as well as improved operational efficiencies across all business operations will significantly improve full-year results,” Ball CEO Daniel  Fisher said in a prepared statement. “Following a multi-year period of investment, organic growth and leveraging our team and unique technologies to win an even larger portfolio of mission critical space-based aerospace contracts, additional actions are being assessed real time to further position the business for all stakeholders’ long-term success and accelerate our near-term return of value to Ball shareholders. We remain a trusted mission partner to our customers and colleagues and anticipate providing an update on the assessment in the second half.”

Ball’s stock price at the end up trading Thursday was $59.07, up 3.52%

In late June,  Reuters reported that Ball, which operates a large and expanding aerospace campus in Boulder, was marketing its aerospace business to private equity firms and defense contractors with an asking price of about $5 billion. 

The prevailing wisdom from analysts was that a sale of the unit will reduce Ball’s debt and allow it to focus squarely on its can-manufacturing business. 

In its quarterly report this week, Ball said, “During the second quarter, Ball Corp. announced that it is considering options that could better position its aerospace business to provide value to shareholders and customers. There is no certainty that any formal decision will be made. If and when appropriate, a further announcement will be made.”

Source: BizWest