BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) dropped 4.4% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $30.00 and last traded at $30.10, with a volume of 2,592,762 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $31.49.

BHP has been the topic of several research reports. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $33.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Argus upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BHP Billiton has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.09.

The company’s market cap is $81.40 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $30.62 and its 200 day moving average price is $28.14.

The firm also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued 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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