BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) shares traded down 2.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $27.95 and last traded at $27.98, with a volume of 3,163,745 shares. The stock had previously closed at $28.57.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Investec upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Vetr cut shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $31.27 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $32.00 target price (up previously from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. BHP Billiton currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.76.

The company’s market capitalization is $78.07 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $27.74 and a 200-day moving average of $25.97.

A number of institutional investors have made changes to their positions in BHP. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 72,367 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,864,000 after buying an additional 1,008 shares during the period. Comerica Bank increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 86,879 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,907,000 after buying an additional 3,701 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 278,034 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $7,163,000 after buying an additional 11,879 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 35.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 102,296 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $2,635,000 after buying an additional 26,842 shares during the period. Finally, Eaton Vance Management increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 291,510 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $7,509,000 after buying an additional 46,388 shares during the period.

BHP Billiton Limited is a global resources company. The Company is engaged in exploration, development, production, processing and marketing of minerals, such as iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, copper, aluminum, manganese, uranium, nickel, silver and potash. It is also engaged in exploration, development, production and marketing of conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.