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

BCE has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. BidaskClub cut BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Argus initiated coverage on BCE in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th.

Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) remained flat at $47.75 during trading on Friday. 531,048 shares of the company were exchanged. BCE has a one year low of $41.83 and a one year high of $48.27. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $47.23 and a 200 day moving average of $45.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $42.99 billion, a PE ratio of 18.44 and a beta of 0.35.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.65 billion. BCE had a net margin of 12.85% and a return on equity of 21.08%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that BCE will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.575 dividend. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.82%. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 94.26%.

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Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. TD Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of BCE by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 18,546,068 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $833,976,000 after purchasing an additional 667,600 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of BCE by 13.5% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,936,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $627,607,000 after purchasing an additional 1,662,207 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of BCE by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 13,247,536 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $584,936,000 after purchasing an additional 244,009 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in shares of BCE by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 8,878,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $399,811,000 after purchasing an additional 224,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its stake in shares of BCE by 6.2% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 7,763,938 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $348,772,000 after purchasing an additional 453,091 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 42.73% of the company’s stock.

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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