Shares of Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG) traded down 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 changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $17.38.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $19.00 to $39.00 in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. DNB Markets cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Golar LNG in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, Nordea Equity Research upgraded shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $34.80.

The company’s market cap is $1.53 billion. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $16.52 and its 200 day moving average price is $17.31.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were paid a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Golar LNG by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 171,975 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,715,000 after buying an additional 2,917 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its stake in shares of 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 valued at $1,590,000 after buying an additional 8,948 shares in the last quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Golar LNG by 65.7% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC now owns 97,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,545,000 after buying an additional 38,800 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in shares of Golar LNG during the fourth quarter valued at $1,924,000.

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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