BHP Billiton (BBL) Shares Gap Up to $42.84

Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BBL) gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday . The stock had previously closed at $42.39, but opened at $42.84. BHP Billiton shares last traded at $42.70, with a volume of 1193714 shares changing hands.

Several research firms recently issued reports on BBL. ValuEngine downgraded BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Citigroup upgraded BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 20th. Deutsche Bank downgraded BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, Goldman Sachs upgraded BHP Billiton from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.00.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 1.75 and a quick ratio of 1.40.

The business also recently announced a None dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th were given a dividend of $1.10 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 5.31%. This is an increase from BHP Billiton’s previous None dividend of $0.86. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 8th. BHP Billiton’s dividend payout ratio is presently 77.47%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cambiar Investors LLC lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Cambiar Investors LLC now owns 5,519,001 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $222,416,000 after acquiring an additional 95,632 shares during the period. Polaris Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 7.4% during the 4th quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 4,557,788 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $183,679,000 after acquiring an additional 315,800 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 624,085 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $25,151,000 after acquiring an additional 39,110 shares during the period. Deutsche Bank AG lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 16.4% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 567,467 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $22,868,000 after acquiring an additional 80,011 shares during the period. Finally, Sensato Investors LLC lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 37.4% during the 4th quarter. Sensato Investors LLC now owns 519,689 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $20,943,000 after acquiring an additional 141,413 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 4.13% of the company’s stock.

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About BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton Plc, together with its subsidiaries, 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 ores, as well as metallurgical coal, thermal energy coal, and oil and gas properties.

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