BCE (NYSE:BCE) Cut to “Sector Perform Market Weight” at National Bank Financial

National Bank Financial cut shares of BCE (NYSE:BCEGet Rating) (TSE:BCE) from an outperform market weight rating to a sector perform market weight rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. StockNews.com started coverage on BCE in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. They issued a hold rating on the stock. TD Securities boosted their target price on BCE from C$64.00 to C$65.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on BCE from C$63.00 to C$64.00 in a research report on Friday, November 4th. Barclays dropped their target price on BCE from $48.00 to $47.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets dropped their target price on BCE from C$68.00 to C$66.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 3rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $63.48.

BCE Trading Up 0.5 %

BCE opened at $46.66 on Thursday. BCE has a 52 week low of $39.88 and a 52 week high of $59.34. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $45.87 and a 200-day simple moving average of $46.78. The firm has a market cap of $42.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.20, a P/E/G ratio of 4.57 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.

BCE (NYSE:BCEGet Rating) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by $0.03. BCE had a return on equity of 16.10% and a net margin of 12.14%. The company had revenue of $4.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.50 billion. On average, equities analysts expect that BCE will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

BCE Cuts Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 15th will be paid a $0.675 dividend. This represents a $2.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 14th. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 111.11%.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On BCE

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY raised its holdings in BCE by 106.3% in the 3rd quarter. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY now owns 96,649 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,053,000 after acquiring an additional 49,800 shares during the last quarter. Procyon Advisors LLC raised its holdings in BCE by 5.6% in the 3rd quarter. Procyon Advisors LLC now owns 15,392 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $646,000 after acquiring an additional 823 shares during the last quarter. Raleigh Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in BCE by 34.9% in the 2nd quarter. Raleigh Capital Management Inc. now owns 34,124 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,678,000 after acquiring an additional 8,831 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its holdings in BCE by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 483,870 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,766,000 after acquiring an additional 9,124 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. raised its holdings in BCE by 9.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. now owns 63,220 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,109,000 after acquiring an additional 5,630 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 42.92% of the company’s stock.

BCE Company Profile

(Get Rating)

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

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