BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders acquired 23,922 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,018% compared to the average volume of 2,139 call options.

BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE BHP) opened at 42.99 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $114.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.47 and a beta of 1.12. BHP Billiton Limited has a 52-week low of $29.30 and a 52-week high of $44.62. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $41.59 and its 200-day moving average is $37.73.

The company also recently announced a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a $0.86 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This is a boost from BHP Billiton Limited’s previous Semi-Annual dividend of $0.32. This represents a yield of 4.04%.

BHP has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of BHP Billiton Limited from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of BHP Billiton Limited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Argus lowered their target price on shares of BHP Billiton Limited from $46.00 to $34.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. UBS AG upgraded shares of BHP Billiton Limited from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC lowered shares of BHP Billiton Limited from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, June 8th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $34.67.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BHP. Jennison Associates LLC raised its holdings in BHP Billiton Limited by 3.0% in the first quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 665,136 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $24,158,000 after buying an additional 19,656 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in shares of BHP Billiton Limited during the first quarter valued at approximately $159,000. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS raised its holdings in shares of BHP Billiton Limited by 4.0% during the first quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS now owns 17,570 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $638,000 after purchasing an additional 670 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of BHP Billiton Limited by 18.0% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 66,208 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $2,405,000 after purchasing an additional 10,099 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its holdings in shares of BHP Billiton Limited by 2.0% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 93,880 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $3,287,000 after purchasing an additional 1,824 shares during the last quarter. 2.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: This article was originally published by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are viewing this article on another publication, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States and international copyright & trademark laws. The original version of this article can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/09/09/bhp-billiton-limited-sees-unusually-large-options-volume-bhp.html.

About BHP Billiton Limited

BHP Billiton Limited is a global resources company. The Company is a producer of various commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium. Its segments include Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore and Coal. The Petroleum segment is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas.

Receive News & Ratings for BHP Billiton Limited Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for BHP Billiton Limited and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.