Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the eleven brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $58.00.
BCE has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Veritas Investment Research lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 8th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on BCE from $62.00 to $58.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 20th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $59.00 price objective (down from $61.00) on shares of BCE in a research report on Wednesday, July 22nd. Scotiabank decreased their price objective on BCE from $63.00 to $62.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, CIBC cut their price target on BCE from $63.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 8th.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Grove Bank & Trust raised its stake in BCE by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 23,224 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $949,000 after buying an additional 279 shares during the period. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of BCE by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc now owns 23,043 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,026,000 after purchasing an additional 295 shares during the period. Aviva PLC raised its stake in shares of BCE by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 105,901 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,314,000 after purchasing an additional 299 shares during the period. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of BCE by 6.5% in the 1st quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 4,945 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $204,000 after purchasing an additional 301 shares during the period. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its stake in shares of BCE by 19.5% in the 4th quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 2,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $92,000 after purchasing an additional 344 shares during the period. 45.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of BCE opened at $41.93 on Friday. BCE has a 1 year low of $31.66 and a 1 year high of $49.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $41.74 and a 200-day simple moving average of $42.69. The stock has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a PE ratio of 16.91, a PEG ratio of 4.12 and a beta of 0.38.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.24. The business had revenue of $5.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.65 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.24% and a net margin of 12.63%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that BCE will post 2.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 15th were paid a $0.5883 dividend. This represents a $2.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, June 12th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 92.80%.
BCE Company Profile
BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. It operates in three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data communications products and services, including 40 live and on-demand channels on smartphones and tablets; roaming services; push-to-talk, field service management, worker safety, and mobility management solutions; and asset management, smart buildings, smart cities, fleet management, and other Internet of Things services.
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