BHP Billiton plc (BBL) Short Interest Up 230.4% in January

BHP Billiton plc (NYSE:BBL) was the target of a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,219,211 shares, a growth of 230.4% from the January 12th total of 974,230 shares. Approximately 0.3% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,914,639 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.7 days.

BBL has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price target on shares of BHP Billiton in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $45.00.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Group One Trading L.P. lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 668.8% in the 3rd quarter. Group One Trading L.P. now owns 3,075 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 2,675 shares during the period. Icon Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton in the 4th quarter worth approximately $138,000. Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of BHP Billiton by 59.3% in the 3rd quarter. Knowledge Leaders Capital LLC now owns 3,939 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,467 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $217,000. Finally, Premia Global Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BHP Billiton in the 4th quarter worth approximately $221,000. 4.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of BHP Billiton (BBL) opened at $45.30 on Friday. BHP Billiton has a 52-week low of $28.73 and a 52-week high of $45.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 1.53 and a current ratio of 1.85.

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About BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton Plc is a global resources company. The Company is a producer of various commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium. Its segments include Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore and Coal. The Petroleum segment is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas.

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