BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) shares gapped up prior to trading on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $30.74, but opened at $31.02. BHP Billiton shares last traded at $31.50, with a volume of 1,497,962 shares traded.

BHP has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Vetr upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $29.60 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 13th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 18th. Investec upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 20th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $32.00 price target (up previously from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.76.

The company’s market capitalization is $83.77 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $29.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $26.95.

Several hedge funds 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 valued at $82,283,000 after buying an additional 158,114 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 valued at $2,754,000 after buying an additional 63,192 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 valued at $7,509,000 after buying an additional 46,388 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 valued at $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 valued at $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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