Metal packaging producer Ball Corporation has published its financial results for the third quarter 2018, showing a year on year improvement on the same period of 2017.
Ball provides metal packaging for beverages, food and household products. This includes a selection of one, two and three piece steel and aluminium aerosol cans for the personal care, household products and industrial sectors.
The Broomfield, Colorado headquartered, New York Stock Exchange listed company reports that its third quarter and year-to-date 2018 earnings per diluted share were 56 cents and $1.65, respectively. The comparable results for 2017 were earnings per diluted share of 52 cents and $1.44, respectively.
"Improved third quarter results were driven by strong operational performance in every one of our businesses, as well as lower corporate costs, and were partially offset by a higher effective tax rate and incrementally higher transportation costs and other start-up costs during the completion of the complex, multi-plant network optimization program," said John A. Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive officer at the Ball Corporation.
“The growing global demand for environmentally favored aluminum beverage and aerosol cans, as well as continued growth in our aerospace backlog, positions the company for sustainable long-term growth,” Hayes continued.
“Our global team continues to execute on value-creating investments and commercial initiatives. We remain on track to return in excess of $800 million to our shareholders in 2018 via share repurchases and dividends, and continue to reaffirm our financial goals of $2 billion of comparable EBITDA and in excess of $1 billion of free cash flow in 2019."
Based on these results, Ball has an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.
"The company is well positioned for long-term growth as capital spending deployed over the last 18 months begins to add to segment earnings in 2019 and beyond”, said Scott C. Morrison, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
“With net debt to comparable EBITDA ratios in the range of 3.0 to 3.5 times and absent any additional growth capital expenditures or bolt-on M&A, every available dollar of free cash flow will be returned to shareholders. In 2018, we expect to return in excess of $800 million to shareholders and in 2019 and beyond, we expect the return of value to shareholders will be approximately $1 billion annually,"