Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) fell 1.8% during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $28.29 and last traded at $28.45, with a volume of 2,111,047 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $28.97.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on BHP. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Investec raised shares of BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Vetr downgraded shares of 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 reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective (up from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. raised shares of 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 issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.76.

The firm’s market capitalization is $75.97 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $28.40 and a 200-day moving average of $26.23.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BHP. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of 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 worth $82,283,000 after buying an additional 158,114 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management boosted its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 291,510 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $7,509,000 after buying an additional 46,388 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 144.5% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 106,920 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $2,754,000 after buying an additional 63,192 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 35.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 102,296 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $2,635,000 after buying an additional 26,842 shares during the period. Finally, Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 86,879 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,907,000 after buying an additional 3,701 shares during the period.

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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