BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Investment analysts at National Bank Financial increased their FY2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for BCE in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. National Bank Financial analyst A. Shine now expects that the utilities provider will post earnings per share of $2.65 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $2.50. National Bank Financial also issued estimates for BCE’s FY2018 earnings at $2.82 EPS.

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on BCE. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. BidaskClub raised shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 target price on shares of BCE and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. Citigroup Inc. raised shares of BCE from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. Finally, Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of BCE in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $47.00 target price on the stock. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $59.22.

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Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) opened at 45.96 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $41.34 billion, a PE ratio of 18.17 and a beta of 0.36. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $44.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.43. BCE has a 52 week low of $41.83 and a 52 week high of $49.03.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 22.03% and a net margin of 13.36%. The company had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.37 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.85 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.5316 per share. This represents a $2.13 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 85.89%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BCE. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in BCE by 0.5% in the second quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,964 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. purchased a new stake in BCE during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,115,000. Forte Capital LLC ADV raised its stake in BCE by 2.6% in the second quarter. Forte Capital LLC ADV now owns 14,660 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $660,000 after buying an additional 375 shares during the last quarter. Nexus Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in BCE by 1.6% in the second quarter. Nexus Investment Management Inc. now owns 64,302 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,892,000 after buying an additional 1,036 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. raised its stake in BCE by 4.9% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 71,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,239,000 after buying an additional 3,369 shares during the last quarter. 43.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BCE Company Profile

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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