Stephens Inc. AR Lowers Stock Position in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE)

Stephens Inc. AR lessened its position in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCEFree Report) (TSE:BCE) by 3.3% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 23,474 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 794 shares during the quarter. Stephens Inc. AR’s holdings in BCE were worth $924,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. American Century Companies Inc. grew its position in shares of BCE by 400.8% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,570,323 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $136,294,000 after acquiring an additional 2,857,340 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 171.8% in the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 4,284,802 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $168,736,000 after buying an additional 2,708,625 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter worth approximately $97,874,000. Clearbridge Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $85,840,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in BCE by 20.8% in the 3rd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 11,007,473 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $423,202,000 after acquiring an additional 1,893,418 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 41.46% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Argus downgraded shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 4th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down from $54.00) on shares of BCE in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Barclays reduced their target price on BCE from $38.00 to $35.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, CIBC upgraded BCE from a “neutral” rating to a “sector outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.00.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on BCE

BCE Stock Performance

Shares of BCE stock opened at $33.89 on Tuesday. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $33.42 and its 200 day moving average price is $36.67. The company has a market cap of $30.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.53, a PEG ratio of 5.40 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.61. BCE Inc. has a one year low of $31.82 and a one year high of $46.58.

BCE (NYSE:BCEGet Free Report) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.53. BCE had a return on equity of 16.86% and a net margin of 7.53%. The business had revenue of $4.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.47 billion. On average, research analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post 2.21 EPS for the current year.

BCE Cuts Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be issued a $0.738 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.95 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.71%. BCE’s payout ratio is 204.86%.

BCE Profile

(Free Report)

BCE Inc, a communications company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. The company operates through two segments, Bell Communication and Technology Services, and Bell Media. The Bell Communication and Technology Services segment provides wireless products and services including mobile data and voice plans and devices; wireline products and services comprising data, including internet access, internet protocol television, cloud-based services, and business solutions, as well as voice, and other communication services and products; and satellite TV and connectivity services for residential, small and medium-sized business, government, and large enterprise customers.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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