BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) saw strong trading volume on Friday . 3,688,737 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 13% from the previous session’s volume of 3,275,383 shares.The stock last traded at $32.75 and had previously closed at $32.35.

Several research firms have commented on BHP. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $32.00 price target (up previously from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “market weight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Friday, May 13th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Macquarie upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BHP Billiton currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.76.

The firm’s market capitalization is $85.39 billion. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $30.42 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.81.

The firm also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be paid a $0.28 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st.

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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