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

BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twelve research firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $59.33.

BCE has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. National Bank Financial upgraded BCE from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, September 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, September 9th. Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, August 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered BCE from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 8th. Finally, Desjardins lowered BCE to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BCE. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its position in BCE by 17.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 9,555,045 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $432,138,000 after buying an additional 1,416,703 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted its position in shares of BCE by 213.3% in the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 2,015,616 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $91,926,000 after purchasing an additional 1,372,333 shares during the last quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. bought a new position in shares of BCE in the 2nd quarter worth $58,988,000. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its position in shares of BCE by 32.1% in the 2nd quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 5,216,844 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $237,857,000 after purchasing an additional 1,268,440 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of BCE by 29.6% in the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 5,291,031 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $211,840,000 after purchasing an additional 1,207,700 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.70% of the company’s stock.

BCE stock traded down $0.07 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $48.81. 304,932 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 843,453. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $48.06 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $46.12. BCE has a 1-year low of $38.75 and a 1-year high of $49.58. The company has a market cap of $44.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.01, a PEG ratio of 5.22 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. BCE had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 12.51%. The firm had revenue of $5.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that BCE will post 2.68 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.601 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.93%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 88.19%.

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. It operates in three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data communications products and services, including 40 live and on-demand channels on smartphones and tablets; roaming services; push-to-talk, field service management, worker safety, and mobility management solutions; and asset management, smart buildings, smart cities, fleet management, and other Internet of Things services.

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Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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