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Ball hits mark

The Daily Times-Call

BROOMFIELD — Ball Corp. has reported earnings for 2003 that were “significantly higher” than the previous year.
For the fourth quarter, Ball had earnings of $55.3 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, on sales of $1.19 billion.
During the fourth quarter of 2002, the company had reported earnings of $2.7 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, on sales of $910.2 million.
For the entire year, Ball’s sales increased by more than $1 billion, to $4.98 billion.
In a conference call with investors
following the earnings announcement,
Ball’s chairman, president and CEO, R. David Hoover, said 2003 was “far and away the best year we’ve ever had in the company.”
The company reported sales of $3.86 billion during 2002.
Net earnings for 2003 were $229.9 million, or $4.02 per diluted share.
In 2002, Ball reported net earnings of $156.1 million, or $2.71 per diluted share.
Key contributors to the bottom line during the year, according to Hoover, included the addition of sales from Ball Packaging Europe, bought by Ball in December 2002, and record sales and earnings in Ball’s aerospace and technology divisions.
Aside from owning Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp., Ball Corp. also provides metal and plastic packaging to the beverage and food industries.