Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG) was down 4.5% during trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $16.84 and last traded at $16.84, with a volume of 1,492,304 shares. The stock had previously closed at $17.64.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on GLNG shares. Jefferies Group raised shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $19.00 to $39.00 in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $10.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. DNB Markets cut shares of Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Golar LNG in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.80.

The stock’s market cap is $1.57 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $16.39 and its 200-day moving average price is $17.36.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were issued a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.19%.

Several institutional investors have modified their holdings of the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in shares of Golar LNG by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 171,975 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,715,000 after buying an additional 2,917 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Golar LNG by 9.8% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 100,683 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,590,000 after buying an additional 8,948 shares during the last quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Golar LNG by 65.7% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC now owns 97,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,545,000 after buying an additional 38,800 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Golar LNG by 16.5% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 470,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,431,000 after buying an additional 66,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in shares of Golar LNG during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,924,000.

Golar LNG Limited (Golar) is the owner and operator of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and floating storage regasification units (FSRUs). As of March 31, 2010, Golar had a fleet of 13 vessels, 10 LNG carriers, three FSRUs and a 50% interest in a further LNG carrier. On June 22, 2009, the Company formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Golar LNG Energy Limited (Golar Energy).

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