BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the ten analysts that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $57.25.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of BCE from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Barclays PLC raised their price objective on shares of BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, Argus assumed coverage on shares of BCE in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of BCE. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 0.7% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $131,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the period. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC increased its stake in BCE by 0.5% in the 2nd 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. AT Bancorp acquired a new stake in BCE in the 2nd quarter valued at $149,000. FNY Partners Fund LP acquired a new stake in BCE in the 1st quarter valued at $168,000. Finally, Adell Harriman & Carpenter Inc. acquired a new stake in BCE in the 2nd quarter valued at $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 42.96% of the company’s stock.

BCE (NYSE BCE) traded up 0.65% during trading on Friday, hitting $47.68. 658,977 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $47.18 and a 200-day moving average price of $45.44. The firm has a market capitalization of $42.93 billion, a PE ratio of 18.42 and a beta of 0.35. BCE has a 12-month low of $41.83 and a 12-month high of $48.27.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.65 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 21.08% and a net margin of 12.85%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.94 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that BCE will post $2.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.575 per share. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.82%. 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. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 94.26%.

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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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