BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 1,817,746 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 5% from the previous session’s volume of 1,917,453 shares.The stock last traded at $28.28 and had previously closed at $27.87.

A number of research firms have commented on BBL. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Friday, May 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an “underweight” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Finally, Jefferies Group raised shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $28.00 to $33.00 in a report on Tuesday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.50.

The company’s market cap is $73.84 billion. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $26.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $24.45.

The firm also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st.

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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