BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) has been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the fourteen analysts that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $47.00.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on BHP shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of BHP Billiton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th.

Shares of BHP traded down $0.69 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $47.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,157,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,510,672. BHP Billiton has a 52-week low of $40.19 and a 52-week high of $52.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $80.04 billion, a PE ratio of 14.23, a PEG ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 2.24 and a current ratio of 2.51.

The company also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 25th. Investors of record on Friday, September 7th were given a dividend of $1.26 per share. This is a boost from BHP Billiton’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 6th. This represents a yield of 5.32%. BHP Billiton’s dividend payout ratio is presently 75.00%.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BHP. Private Capital Group LLC increased its stake in BHP Billiton by 1,157.5% during the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 2,515 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 2,315 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC increased its stake in BHP Billiton by 128.7% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 2,966 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $148,000 after purchasing an additional 1,669 shares in the last quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC increased its stake in BHP Billiton by 4,776.7% during the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 161,905 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $162,000 after purchasing an additional 158,585 shares in the last quarter. Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC acquired a new position in BHP Billiton during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Finally, JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in BHP Billiton during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $200,000. 3.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton Limited discovers, acquires, develops, and markets natural resources worldwide. It operates through four segments: Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore, and Coal. The company explores for copper, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium, gold, and iron ore, as well as metallurgical and energy coal, and oil and gas properties.

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Analyst Recommendations for BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP)

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