BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $24.17, but opened at $24.40. BHP Billiton PLC shares last traded at $24.90, with a volume of 1,277,494 shares.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the company. Beaufort Securities reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded BHP Billiton PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, April 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated an “underweight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Friday, May 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. BHP Billiton PLC currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.00.

The firm’s market cap is $66.21 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $24.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.11.

Several large investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Airain ltd increased its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 184.4% in the fourth quarter. Airain ltd now owns 267,125 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $6,050,000 after buying an additional 173,207 shares during the last quarter. Pear Tree Advisors Inc. increased its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 34.8% in the fourth quarter. Pear Tree Advisors Inc. now owns 1,136,100 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $25,733,000 after buying an additional 293,200 shares during the last quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC increased its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 50.2% in the fourth quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 3,164,648 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $71,679,000 after buying an additional 1,058,020 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 20.9% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 85,518 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,937,000 after buying an additional 14,764 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UBS Oconnor LLC increased its stake in BHP Billiton PLC by 29.5% in the fourth quarter. UBS Oconnor LLC now owns 843,526 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $19,106,000 after buying an additional 192,283 shares during the last quarter.

BHP Billiton Plc is engaged in exploration, development, production, processing and marketing of minerals, in respect of iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, copper, aluminum, manganese, uranium, nickel, silver and potash, and exploration, development, production and marketing of conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

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