BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $28.03, but opened at $28.32. BHP Billiton shares last traded at $28.98, with a volume of 3,378,722 shares trading hands.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on BHP. Zacks Investment Research lowered BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Investec raised BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Vetr lowered BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $31.27 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Cowen and Company reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective (up previously from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. raised BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.76.

The company’s market cap is $77.09 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $28.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $26.23.

Other hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in BHP Billiton by 144.5% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 106,920 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $2,754,000 after buying an additional 63,192 shares in the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in BHP Billiton by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,194,219 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $82,283,000 after buying an additional 158,114 shares in the last quarter.

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.

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