Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 0.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 353,191 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,677 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp’s holdings in BCE were worth $15,636,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cribstone Capital Management LLC increased its stake in BCE by 63.9% in the first quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC now owns 4,762 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 1,857 shares in the last quarter. Round Table Services LLC purchased a new stake in BCE during the first quarter worth about $215,000. Regentatlantic Capital LLC increased its stake in BCE by 5.6% in the first quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 6,135 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $272,000 after buying an additional 328 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC increased its stake in BCE by 16,735.1% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 6,229 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $276,000 after buying an additional 6,192 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 302.0% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 7,072 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 5,313 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 44.21% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 22.03% and a net margin of 13.36%. The company had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.37 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.85 earnings per share. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be issued a $0.5316 dividend. This represents a $2.13 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.75%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 85.89%.

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A number of research firms have issued reports on BCE. Citigroup Inc. upgraded BCE from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. BidaskClub raised BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Barclays PLC initiated coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, March 21st. They set an “overweight” rating and a $47.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 price objective on BCE and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.33.

About BCE

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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