BCE Inc. (BCE) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”
According to Zacks, “BCE’s subsidiary, Bell Canada leads the Canadian broadband communications market through its recent launch of Home Hub 3000 WiFi services with Wireless 4K Whole Home PVR from Fibe TV. Increasing deployment of Gigabit Fibe , 4G LTE mobile networks, upcoming 5G networks, IP phone services and post-paid businesses should help the company gain customers. BCE’s recent acquisition of Q9 Networks fully should boost cloud suite.However, BCE’s strategic moves to enhance employee skills, increase capital investments and reduce expenditures though impressive, may impact the company’s financials and growth prospects if not executed properly. Moreover, stringent regulatory measures, decline in network access services lines, price competition, exposure to labor union issues covered by collective bargaining agreements leading to work disruptions and higher labor costs, operational risks and construction and launch delays are major risks.”
A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. Desjardins reissued a hold rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $66.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of BCE in a report on Sunday, August 7th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Friday, August 5th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on BCE from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Thursday, June 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $57.30.
Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) traded down 0.31% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $45.31. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 94,439 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $46.79 and a 200-day moving average of $46.74. The stock has a market cap of $39.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.91 and a beta of 0.40. BCE has a 52-week low of $35.96 and a 52-week high of $49.03.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.03. The firm earned $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.10 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 22.89% and a net margin of 13.02%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. Analysts predict that BCE will post $2.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.58%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is currently 88.14%.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BCE. TD Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 2.5% in the second quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 19,024,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $895,603,000 after buying an additional 463,198 shares in the last quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 1.7% in the second quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 15,513,050 shares of the company’s stock valued at $733,922,000 after buying an additional 257,656 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in BCE by 3.8% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,488,432 shares of the company’s stock valued at $591,001,000 after buying an additional 459,100 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in BCE by 0.8% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 12,303,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $562,913,000 after buying an additional 93,906 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 1832 Asset Management L.P. increased its stake in BCE by 3.4% in the first quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 9,724,089 shares of the company’s stock valued at $659,196,000 after buying an additional 318,919 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.48% of the company’s stock.
BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company provides a range of broadband communications and content services to consumer, residential, business and government customers in Canada. The Company offers various services under the Bell and Bell Aliant brands, such as fiber-based Internet protocol television (IPTV) and high-speed Internet services, home phone and business network and communications services.
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