BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 1,857,204 shares were traded during mid-day trading, a decline of 2% from the previous session’s volume of 1,903,848 shares.The stock last traded at $26.10 and had previously closed at $25.79.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Jefferies Group raised shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Beaufort Securities reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Investec reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a research note on Friday, August 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.50.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $26.51 and its 200-day moving average is $24.65. The stock’s market cap is $69.61 billion.

The business also recently announced a dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be given 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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