Shares of 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 changing hands.

Several analysts have issued reports on BHP shares. Vetr raised shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $29.60 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “market weight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Friday, May 13th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BHP Billiton has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.76.

The stock’s market capitalization is $75.97 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $28.45 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.26.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BHP. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position 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 in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised 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 last quarter. Eaton Vance Management raised 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 last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised 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 last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank raised 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 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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