Ball Corp. Stock Falls After Company Warns of Slowing U.S. Demand

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By Will Feuer

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Ball Corp. fell 15% in morning trading after the aluminum-packaging supplier swung to a loss in the recently ended quarter and said it stopped production at a couple of shares of US plants to right-size supply amid decelerating demand.

The company posted a second-quarter loss of $174 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with a profit of $202 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier.

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Stripping out one-time charges, including $467 million in charges tied to business consolidation and other activities, earnings came to 82 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting adjusted earnings of 90 cents a share.

Revenue rose to $4.13 billion from $3.46 billion a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting sales of $3.84 billion.

Chief Executive Daniel Fisher said the company saw “notable cost inflation, demand volatility and euro earnings translation headwinds” in the recently ended quarter.

In the North and Central American beverage-packaging business, sales volume was roughly flat in the quarter, reflecting “the deceleration of customer demand resulting from significant retail pricing actions by customers to pass through inflationary costs to consumers, particularly in the US,” the company said. Segment earnings fell due to higher manufacturing and inflationary costs.

In response to decelerating demand late in the second quarter, the company has delayed construction of a new beverage can manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, and ceased production at its Phoenix, Ariz., and St. Paul, Minn., facilities.

Ball shares fell more than 16% in morning trading to $60.98. The stock is down 37% so far this year.

Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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