BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Analysts at National Bank Financial lifted their FY2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of BCE in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. National Bank Financial analyst A. Shine now anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings of $2.69 per share for the year, up from their prior forecast of $2.65. National Bank Financial also issued estimates for BCE’s FY2018 earnings at $2.87 EPS.

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Argus assumed coverage on BCE in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 price target on BCE and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. BidaskClub lowered BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their price target on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.43.

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BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.02. BCE had a return on equity of 21.08% and a net margin of 12.85%. The business had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.65 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.94 earnings per share. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.575 per share. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.92%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 87.30%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its position in shares of BCE by 108.2% in the first quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 137,185 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,057,000 after buying an additional 71,293 shares during the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of BCE by 1.4% in the first quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 32,130 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,422,000 after buying an additional 450 shares during the last quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc raised its position in shares of BCE by 7.2% in the first quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 7,884 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $349,000 after buying an additional 532 shares during the last quarter. Round Table Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of BCE during the first quarter worth $215,000. Finally, Bollard Group LLC raised its position in shares of BCE by 17.3% in the first quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 118,333 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,239,000 after buying an additional 17,430 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.99% of the company’s stock.

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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