Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday . The stock had previously closed at $48.02, but opened at $48.11. BCE shares last traded at $48.32, with a volume of 350,201 shares.

BCE has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. Citigroup Inc. lowered shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Sunday, May 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $66.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of BCE in a report on Sunday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Friday, August 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.40.

The firm has a market cap of $42.01 billion and a PE ratio of 19.89. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $47.55 and a 200-day moving average price of $45.43.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $5.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post $2.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.52 per share. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.31%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th.

A number of large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in BCE. Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new stake in BCE during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,449,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 35.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,999 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,468,000 after buying an additional 9,938 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in BCE by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 58,854 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,273,000 after buying an additional 525 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR increased its stake in BCE by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 166,119 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,416,000 after buying an additional 7,302 shares during the period. Finally, Bridgewater Associates LP increased its stake in BCE by 93.4% in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 772,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,722,000 after buying an additional 372,900 shares during the period.

BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company provides residential, business and wholesale customers with a range of solutions to all their communications needs, including wireless, high-speed Internet, Internet protocol television (IPTV) and satellite TV, business Internet protocol (IP) broadband, and information and communications technology (ICT) services.

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