Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the twelve brokerages that are covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $58.67.

BCE has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Argus raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 8th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “average” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of BCE in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Citigroup cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Desjardins cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Investors Research Corp bought a new stake in shares of BCE during the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Sontag Advisory LLC bought a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of BCE by 145.0% during the fourth quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $39,000 after purchasing an additional 586 shares in the last quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Finally, Cutler Group LP bought a new stake in shares of BCE during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $43,000. Institutional investors own 43.74% of the company’s stock.

BCE opened at $45.42 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.55. BCE has a 52-week low of $38.75 and a 52-week high of $45.71. The company has a market cap of $40.49 billion, a PE ratio of 16.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.92 and a beta of 0.41.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58. BCE had a return on equity of 18.66% and a net margin of 12.56%. The firm had revenue of $5.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that BCE will post 2.61 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a dividend of $0.592 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 13th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous dividend of $0.56. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 87.82%.

BCE Company Profile

BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. It operates in three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data communications products and services, including 40 live and on-demand channels on smartphones and tablets; roaming services; push-to-talk, field service management, worker safety, and mobility management solutions; and asset management, smart buildings, smart cities, fleet management, and other Internet of Things services.

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Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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