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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., a unit of Ball Corporation (BLL - Analyst Report), has received a contract from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to build the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS). This is the first contract for Ball Corp. with South Korea.

GEMS is an atmospheric pollution sensor that provides high spatial and high temporal resolution measurements of ozone, its precursors and aerosols. It is a geostationary scanning ultraviolet-visible spectrometer which monitors air quality and long-term climate change. The spectrometer will also help to provide early warnings for dangerous pollution events.

Ball Aerospace and KARI will design, fabricate and test GEMS to monitor trans-boundary pollution events for the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region. The spectrometer, which is being built for the National Institute of Environmental Research in the South Korean Ministry of Environment, is scheduled to be launched in 2018.

Ball Aerospace has been a recognized industry leader in developing advanced spectrometers. Ball recently provided the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership and is building a similar instrument for the Joint Polar Satellite System.

Ball Aerospace also supports critical missions for national agencies such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and other U.S. government and commercial entities.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corp., which belongs to the containers and packaging industry along with Crown Holdings Inc. (CCK - Analyst Report), Greif, Inc. (GEF - Snapshot Report) and Mobile Mini, Inc. (MINI - Snapshot Report), reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 58 cents per share, an 8% decline from the year-ago adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share. The results also fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents.

However, revenues in the Aerospace and Technologies segment increased 15% to $231 million in the first quarter. Operating earnings decreased 9% to $18 million in the quarter. The segment had a backlog of more than $1 billion at the end of the quarter.

Ball Corp. is the largest manufacturer of beverage cans in North America. It also supplies aerospace and other technologies and offers services to government and commercial customers. The company currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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