BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Equities research analysts at Cormark boosted their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of BCE in a research note issued to investors on Friday. Cormark analyst D. Mcfadgen now anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings of $2.70 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $2.65. Cormark also issued estimates for BCE’s FY2019 earnings at $2.75 EPS.
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Desjardins cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. National Bank Financial raised BCE from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price target for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.00.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 19.85% and a net margin of 12.25%. The company had revenue of $5.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.96 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.76 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year.
BCE declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 8th that allows the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.601 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 95.83%.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. WFG Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of BCE by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $203,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its position in shares of BCE by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 12,614 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers lifted its position in shares of BCE by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 12,643 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $570,000 after purchasing an additional 629 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of BCE by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 64,615 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,910,000 after purchasing an additional 1,099 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. lifted its position in shares of BCE by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 102,041 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,778,000 after purchasing an additional 1,137 shares during the last quarter. 44.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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