Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Record quarter at Ball Corp


April 30, 2004

Record quarter at Ball Corp.

By Marla J. Pugh

FAIRFIELD -- Ball Corp., which has a food and beverage packaging facility in Fairfield, recently reported record first quarter net earnings of $46.8 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, on sales of $1.23 billion.

The numbers reflect almost a 49 percent increase in earnings and a 15 percent increase in sales compared to the first quarter of 2003.

Sales increased in all three of the company's business segments, and segment earnings rose in all but aerospace and technologies, where 2003 first quarter earnings were exceptionally strong due to completion and milestone payments the company received on a major satellite, according to a company press release.

Another contributor to the company's record first-quarter results was a strong demand for beverage cans in North America and Europe, Chairman and CEO R. David Hoover said in a press release. Improvement in Ball's metal food can business and the strength of the euro against the U.S. dollar relative to the first quarter of 2003 also helped.

Ball's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BLL. It closed at $65.72 per share Thursday, down from an opening of $67.50

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