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Ball Corp. 2Q Profit Slips On Weakness In Can Unit

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) â¿¿ Ball Corp. said Thursday that second-quarter profit slipped 2.5 percent on weaker results in its European metal drink-packaging business.

The company said it was still on track to hit its goal of increasing full-year adjusted earnings per share by 10 to 15 percent over 2011. That suggests 2012 earnings of $3 to $3.14 per share. Analysts expect $3.08.

Ball said new drink-can plants in China, Brazil and Vietnam would boost second-half results and offset flat business in the U.S. and the effects of changes in the value of the Euro.

One side of Ball's business makes cans for food and drinks. That business had lower operating earnings than a year ago, especially in its European metal-can division, where earnings before interest and taxes slid 22 percent to $65.7 million from $84.7 million on an 8.5 percent decline in sales.

The company has a smaller unit that makes satellites and instruments for aerospace customers. That side saw earnings before interest and taxes dip a more modest 7 percent.

Ball reported net income of $139.5 million, or 88 cents per share, down from $143.1 million, or 84 cents per share, in last year's second quarter. Per-share income rose because there were fewer shares than a year ago.

The company said excluding currency effects it would have earned 89 cents per share.

Revenue edged down to $2.30 billion from $2.31 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 87 cents per share on revenue of $2.34 billion.

Ball shares rose 28 cents to $40.81 in afternoon trading.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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