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Ball Corporation (BLL) Arm to Manufacture LIDAR Cameras Now

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Ball Aerospace, a unit of Ball Corporation (BLL - Free Report) , has signed an exclusive license agreement to manufacture the Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GmAPD) light-detection and ranging (LIDAR) cameras for defense and aerospace industries. The license provides the sole ownership to Ball Corporation to make these cameras after Argo AI.

Pittsburgh, PA-based Argo AI LLC is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) . With the acquisition of Princeton Lightwave Inc of Cranbury, NJ, in October 2017, Argo AI was offering lasers and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs)-based near-infrared/shortwave-infrared (SWIR) single-photon detectors, including LIDAR sensors.

Given an experience of more than 40 years in providing advanced imaging capabilities to government and commercial customers, Argo AI granted the LIDAR cameras manufacturing license to Ball Aerospace. This manufacturing right is also in sync with Ball Aerospace’s current portfolio of products.

The GmAPD camera technology, which is mainly used in U.S. Department of Defense, space and other government missions, will help craft an accurate 3-D representation of wide-area terrain in dense foliage. Thus, the Geiger-mode LIDAR camera is ideal for many sensing and mapping applications as its high-speed laser can collect data over large areas while flying at high altitudes.

Moreover, three options of Geiger-mode cameras will be manufactured by Ball Aerospace in Colorado, with opportunities to expand upon the existing technology to meet consumer needs over the long run.

Price Performance

Ball Corporation’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past year. The stock has gained around 6%, while the industry lost around 6% during the same time frame.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Ball Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW - Free Report) and Atkore International Group Inc. (ATKR - Free Report) . Both stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Grainger has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12.5%. Its shares have appreciated 114% over the past year.

Atkore International has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10%. The stock has rallied 47% in a year’s time.

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