BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) was down 2.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $24.33 and last traded at $24.36, with a volume of 1,621,952 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $24.89.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on BBL shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Monday, March 28th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Beaufort Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Friday, March 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. Finally, BNP Paribas reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Saturday, March 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.00.

The company’s market cap is $64.34 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $24.43 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.89.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in BBL. Russell Frank Co boosted its position in BHP Billiton PLC by 75.0% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 562,421 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $12,833,000 after buying an additional 241,100 shares during the last quarter. Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in BHP Billiton PLC during the fourth quarter worth $4,013,000. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its position in BHP Billiton PLC by 993.8% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 296,588 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $6,718,000 after buying an additional 269,473 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its position in BHP Billiton PLC by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 56,870 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,079,000 after buying an additional 2,596 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in BHP Billiton PLC by 144.3% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 227,726 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $5,158,000 after buying an additional 134,526 shares during the last quarter.

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.

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