Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG)’s share price shot up 6.6% during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $17.67 and last traded at $17.64, with a volume of 925,860 shares. The stock had previously closed at $16.55.

A number of research firms recently commented on GLNG. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Golar LNG in a research note on Monday. Bank of America Corp. raised Golar LNG from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday. DNB Markets raised Golar LNG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $10.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Finally, ABN Amro lowered Golar LNG from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $38.00 to $10.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Golar LNG currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $34.10.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $16.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $17.46. The stock’s market cap is $1.66 billion.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%.

Other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Golar LNG by 5,703.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 886,898 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,004,000 after buying an additional 871,617 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new position in Golar LNG during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,924,000. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Golar LNG by 153.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,713,618 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,058,000 after buying an additional 1,037,709 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its position in 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.

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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