Shares of Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG) dropped 4.7% on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $16.33 and last traded at $16.57, with a volume of 1,017,387 shares. The stock had previously closed at $17.38.

GLNG has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 22nd. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $19.00 to $39.00 in a research note on Friday, April 22nd. DNB Markets cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 29th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Golar LNG in a research report on Saturday, April 30th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of Golar LNG from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $20.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Monday, May 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $34.80.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $16.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.32. The firm’s market cap is $1.52 billion.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.18%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quantitative Investment Management LLC raised its position in Golar LNG by 65.7% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC now owns 97,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,545,000 after buying an additional 38,800 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in Golar LNG by 9.8% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 100,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,590,000 after buying an additional 8,948 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Golar LNG during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,924,000. California State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in Golar LNG by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 171,975 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,715,000 after buying an additional 2,917 shares during the period. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI raised its position in Golar LNG by 57.1% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 244,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,853,000 after buying an additional 88,691 shares during the period.

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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