Shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) have received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the ten research firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $57.25.

BCE has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. BidaskClub raised shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, Argus started coverage on shares of BCE in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in BCE by 0.7% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 46,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,051,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 28.9% in the first quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,417,270 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $187,289,000 after buying an additional 541,437 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the first quarter valued at approximately $551,000. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 0.8% in the second quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,010,616 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $117,420,000 after buying an additional 15,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, United Services Automobile Association boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 16.5% in the first quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 107,157 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,744,000 after buying an additional 15,172 shares during the last quarter. 44.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) traded down 0.02% on Tuesday, hitting $46.87. 561,312 shares of the stock traded hands. BCE has a 52-week low of $41.83 and a 52-week high of $48.36. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $46.29 and its 200 day moving average price is $45.04. The stock has a market cap of $42.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.37 and a beta of 0.36.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.02. BCE had a return on equity of 21.08% and a net margin of 12.85%. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.65 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.94 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that BCE will post $2.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.575 per share. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.91%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 87.30%.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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