Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG)’s share price shot up 5.7% during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $16.11 and last traded at $16.09, with a volume of 1,028,953 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $15.22.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on GLNG. DNB Markets raised shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $10.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. ABN Amro cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $10.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Clarkson Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Golar LNG in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.80.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $16.58 and its 200-day moving average is $17.28. The stock’s market capitalization is $1.43 billion.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th.

Several institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of Golar LNG by 153.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,713,618 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,058,000 after buying an additional 1,037,709 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in Golar LNG by 5,703.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 886,898 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,004,000 after buying an additional 871,617 shares during the last quarter. Oceanic Investment Management LTD raised its stake in Golar LNG by 59.8% in the fourth quarter. Oceanic Investment Management LTD now owns 658,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,404,000 after buying an additional 246,500 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in Golar LNG by 16.5% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 470,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,431,000 after buying an additional 66,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI raised its stake in Golar LNG by 57.1% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 244,023 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,853,000 after buying an additional 88,691 shares during the last quarter.

Golar LNG Limited (Golar) is the owner and operator of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and floating storage regasification units (FSRUs). As of March 31, 2010, Golar had a fleet of 13 vessels, 10 LNG carriers, three FSRUs and a 50% interest in a further LNG carrier. On June 22, 2009, the Company formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Golar LNG Energy Limited (Golar Energy).

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