Shares of BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) gapped up prior to trading 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 changing hands.

Several analysts have recently commented on BBL shares. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Monday, March 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Monday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Friday, April 22nd. Finally, Beaufort Securities reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Saturday, April 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.00.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $24.89 and a 200 day moving average price of $23.13. The firm’s market capitalization is $65.22 billion.

Other hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the company. Airain ltd boosted its stake in shares of 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 period. Pear Tree Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 period. Polaris Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 period. Finally, UBS Oconnor LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 period.

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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