Schmidt P J Investment Management Inc. cut its stake in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 29.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 7,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 2,975 shares during the quarter. Schmidt P J Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in BCE were worth $347,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new stake in BCE in the third quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new stake in BCE in the third quarter valued at approximately $190,000. Howland Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in BCE in the third quarter valued at approximately $202,000. WFG Advisors LP lifted its stake in BCE by 0.4% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in BCE by 1,416.2% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $207,000 after buying an additional 3,314 shares during the last quarter. 44.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research firms have recently commented on BCE. Bank of America began coverage on BCE in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price target for the company. National Bank Financial upgraded BCE from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Desjardins lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.00.
BCE Inc. (NYSE BCE) traded up $0.14 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $44.62. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 444,440 shares, compared to its average volume of 959,507. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $40,483.46, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.68 and a beta of 0.29. BCE Inc. has a 12 month low of $42.44 and a 12 month high of $49.06.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.85% and a net margin of 12.25%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.76 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that BCE Inc. will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
BCE declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 8th that allows the company to buyback $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.601 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.39%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is 95.83%.
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BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. Its Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communications products and services to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers across Canada.
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