BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) Receives Average Rating of “Hold” from Analysts

Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCEGet Rating) (TSE:BCE) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the thirteen ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and three have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $65.64.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on BCE. National Bank Financial raised their price objective on BCE from C$70.00 to C$71.00 in a research note on Friday, February 4th. Bank of America lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, March 14th. CIBC raised their price objective on BCE from C$65.00 to C$67.00 in a research note on Friday, February 4th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on BCE in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on BCE from C$69.00 to C$70.00 in a report on Friday, February 4th.

Shares of NYSE:BCE opened at $57.94 on Tuesday. BCE has a 12 month low of $46.22 and a 12 month high of $58.72. The stock has a market cap of $52.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.24, a PEG ratio of 4.92 and a beta of 0.46. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $54.50 and its 200 day moving average price is $52.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43, a current ratio of 0.68 and a quick ratio of 0.63.

BCE (NYSE:BCEGet Rating) (TSE:BCE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.05. BCE had a return on equity of 15.67% and a net margin of 11.83%. The firm had revenue of $6.21 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.23 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.62 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that BCE will post 2.65 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.92 per share. This represents a $3.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.35%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 120.08%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 186.1% during the fourth quarter. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd now owns 68,170 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,548,000 after acquiring an additional 44,345 shares in the last quarter. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 1.9% during the third quarter. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 799,151 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,005,000 after acquiring an additional 14,659 shares in the last quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 9.3% during the third quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. now owns 851,651 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $42,655,000 after acquiring an additional 72,301 shares in the last quarter. Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. now owns 56,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,926,000 after acquiring an additional 2,388 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its position in shares of BCE by 46.9% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,292,473 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,761,000 after buying an additional 732,306 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.83% of the company’s stock.

BCE Company Profile (Get Rating)

BCE Inc operates as a telecommunications and media company in Canada. The company offers wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers. It operates through three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communication products and services, and consumer electronics products.

Further Reading

Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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