BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) Stock Price Target Moved to $46.00 at Argus

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) shares rose on Thursday Dec 1 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock, boosting the price target of stock.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks opened with slight gains on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 38.22 points, or 0.2%, to 19,174, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% added 2.1 points to 2,202, a rise of 0.1%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% rose less than 1 point to 5,323, essentially unchanged on the day.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) had its price target raised by equities researchers at Argus from $40.00 to $46.00. Argus currently has a rating of Hold on the shares. The one-year price target of $36.46 is lower than the opening price of $37.74, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, BHP Billiton Ltd. stock has a high of $39.12.

Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) opened at $37.74 on Tuesday trading between $37.53 and $37.77, and last traded at $37.61, which represents an increase of $0.07 or 0.19% compared to the previous closing price.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) currently has a market cap of 100.09B.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) Average Daily Trading Volume

289,175 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the norm, out of a total float 1,602,827,000. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as investors often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume growth or distribution by institutional investors.

As with all potential breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to indicate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship simply refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you are researching.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By following the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more impactful judgments on trades.

With that in mind, BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) now has a 50-day MA of $35.80 and 200-day MA of $31.42. It has traded in a 52-week range between $18.46 – 39.12 and today’s last price is 3.86%% lower than the 52 week high of $39.12.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors look for companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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