BHP Billiton (NYSE:BBL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “BHP Billiton Plc is engaged in production of minerals which includes iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium as well as oil, gas and energy coal. BHP Billiton Plc is based in Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria. “

Separately, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 price objective on shares of BHP Billiton in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. BHP Billiton has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $41.50.

Shares of BHP Billiton (BBL) traded up $0.22 on Wednesday, hitting $44.39. The stock had a trading volume of 2,216,515 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,814,873. BHP Billiton has a 52 week low of $28.73 and a 52 week high of $45.30. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 1.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. The company has a market capitalization of $129,600.00, a P/E ratio of 20.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 1.05.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its stake in BHP Billiton by 2.9% during the second quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 9,758 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $300,000 after purchasing an additional 275 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in BHP Billiton by 2.2% during the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 22,404 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $685,000 after purchasing an additional 477 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in BHP Billiton by 3.9% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 16,779 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $514,000 after purchasing an additional 624 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its stake in BHP Billiton by 14.0% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 7,719 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $237,000 after purchasing an additional 947 shares during the period. Finally, Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC grew its stake in BHP Billiton by 59.3% during the third quarter. Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC now owns 3,939 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,467 shares during the period. 4.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton Plc 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.

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