BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) – Jefferies Group increased their FY2017 EPS estimates for BHP Billiton in a research note issued on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst C. Lafemina now forecasts that the brokerage will post earnings per share of $1.12 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $0.91. Jefferies Group currently has a “Buy” rating and a $33.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for BHP Billiton’s FY2018 earnings at $1.48 EPS.

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on BHP. Zacks Investment Research lowered BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Macquarie raised BHP Billiton from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Argus raised BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. BHP Billiton currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.06.

Shares of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) traded up 1.52% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $32.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,755,326 shares. The stock’s market capitalization is $86.93 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $31.17 and a 200 day moving average price of $28.79. BHP Billiton has a 52 week low of $18.46 and a 52 week high of $38.10.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Lebenthal Holdings LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton during the second quarter valued at about $212,000. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 3.4% in the second quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC now owns 31,569 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $902,000 after buying an additional 1,039 shares in the last quarter. Marketfield Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton during the second quarter valued at about $13,397,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton during the second quarter valued at about $3,284,000. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in shares of BHP Billiton by 229.3% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 4,210 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 7,465 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a dividend yield of 1.72%.

BHP Billiton Company Profile

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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