Investors Buy High Volume of BHP Billiton Put Options (BBL)

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BBL) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders bought 756 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 679% compared to the average daily volume of 97 put options.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Citigroup reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. Deutsche Bank raised BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BHP Billiton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised BHP Billiton from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.00.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cambiar Investors LLC increased its position in BHP Billiton by 1.8% in 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 increased its position in BHP Billiton by 7.4% in 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. increased its position in BHP Billiton by 6.7% in 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 increased its position in BHP Billiton by 16.4% in 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 increased 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 purchasing an additional 141,413 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 4.13% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BHP Billiton stock opened at $43.00 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a current ratio of 1.75. The company has a market cap of $43,855.68, a PE ratio of 17.00, a P/E/G ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.21. BHP Billiton has a twelve month low of $28.73 and a twelve month high of $45.43.

The firm also recently announced a None dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 27th. Investors of record on Friday, March 9th were given a $1.10 dividend. This is a boost from BHP Billiton’s previous None dividend of $0.86. This represents a yield of 5.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 8th. BHP Billiton’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 77.47%.

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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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