BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE:BBL) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 1,857,204 shares changed hands during 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 equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of BHP Billiton PLC in a report on Friday, May 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of BHP Billiton PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 26th. 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 objective for the company from $28.00 to $33.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.50.

The firm’s market cap is $70.89 billion. The company’s 50 day moving average is $26.50 and its 200-day moving average is $24.68.

The firm also recently announced a dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date 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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