Shares of BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $27.45, but opened at $27.81. BHP Billiton PLC shares last traded at $28.14, with a volume of 1,092,098 shares traded.

Several analysts recently issued reports on BBL shares. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Monday, May 9th. Beaufort Securities reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an “underweight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. BHP Billiton PLC presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.00.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $25.98 and its 200 day moving average is $24.11. The company’s market cap is $75.49 billion.

Several institutional investors have made changes to their positions in BBL. Airain ltd increased its position 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 in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its position in shares of BHP Billiton PLC by 144.3% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 227,726 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $5,158,000 after buying an additional 134,526 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position 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 in the last quarter.

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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