BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 3,688,737 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 13% from the previous session’s volume of 3,275,383 shares.The stock last traded at $32.75 and had previously closed at $32.35.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on BHP. Jefferies Group raised BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $33.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Macquarie raised BHP Billiton from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $32.00 price target (up previously from $25.00) on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BHP Billiton presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.76.

The stock’s market cap is $85.39 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $30.54 and a 200 day moving average of $27.88.

The company also recently declared a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a 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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