BCE (BCE) Rating Reiterated by Royal Bank of Canada

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at Royal Bank of Canada in a note issued to investors on Friday.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. ValuEngine raised BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. TD Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Desjardins raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Finally, Scotiabank raised BCE from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.75.

NYSE BCE opened at $40.41 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $36.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.30 and a beta of 0.32. BCE has a twelve month low of $38.75 and a twelve month high of $49.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.85 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.92% and a net margin of 12.13%. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that BCE will post 3.5 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 20.0% during the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 5,529,319 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $223,841,000 after acquiring an additional 922,044 shares during the last quarter. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 2.4% during the third quarter. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. now owns 238,845 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,678,000 after acquiring an additional 5,709 shares during the last quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 0.5% during the third quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP now owns 573,017 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,532,000 after acquiring an additional 3,113 shares during the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. acquired a new position in shares of BCE during the third quarter valued at approximately $133,000. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 10.8% during the third quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 88,972 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,602,000 after acquiring an additional 8,664 shares during the last quarter. 42.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About BCE

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 integrated digital wireless voice and data communications products and services.

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