NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies raised its price target on Ball Corp. (BLL - Get Report)  to $87 from $84 on Tuesday morning and maintained its "buy" rating on the stock.

The Broomfield, CO-based company is a supplier of metal packaging for the food, beverage, and personal care products industries.

The price target hike comes on Ball's defensive end markets, strong free cash flow and its acquisition of beverage can maker Rexam (REXMY).

"With broad based CSD / beer trends tracking in-line and solid growth in Brazil, we like BLL into earnings and there's good momentum in 2016 with its growth investments ramping up, startup costs and metal premiums rolling off, and demand reaccelerating," the firm said in an analyst note.

Shares of Ball are gaining by 0.75% to $72.65 at the start of trading on Tuesday.

Separately, recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate BALL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • BALL CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BALL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.30 versus $2.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.42 versus $3.30).
  • BLL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The gross profit margin for BALL CORP is rather low; currently it is at 19.39%. Regardless of BLL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.12% trails the industry average.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. In comparison to other companies in the Containers & Packaging industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BALL CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BLL