BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) gapped down prior to trading on Wednesday . The stock had previously closed at $27.06, but opened at $27.14. BHP Billiton PLC shares last traded at $27.62, with a volume of 1,576,760 shares.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on BBL shares. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Jefferies Group upgraded BHP Billiton PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BHP Billiton PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Beaufort Securities restated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.50.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $27.09 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.21. The firm’s market capitalization is $74.93 billion.

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The company also recently disclosed a dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 23.1% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 303,445 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $6,897,000 after buying an additional 56,845 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 3,713.4% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 483,313 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $10,986,000 after buying an additional 470,639 shares during the last quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC raised its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 181.3% in the first quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 107,841 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $2,451,000 after buying an additional 69,500 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG raised its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 915.8% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 65,486 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,489,000 after buying an additional 59,039 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. raised its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 14.7% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 1,102,135 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $25,051,000 after buying an additional 141,500 shares during the last quarter. 3.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About BHP Billiton PLC

BHP Billiton Plc is engaged in exploration, development, production, processing and marketing of minerals, in respect of iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, copper, aluminum, manganese, uranium, nickel, silver and potash, and exploration, development, production and marketing of conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BBL

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