Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) have been given an average rating of “Hold” by the eleven research firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have issued a hold recommendation and five have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $55.73.

Separately, Morgan Stanley lowered BCE from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 17th.

NYSE BCE traded up $0.18 during trading on Friday, reaching $48.55. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 476,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 700,506. The stock has a market capitalization of $43.72 billion, a PE ratio of 19.04, a P/E/G ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.52. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $47.11 and a 200 day moving average of $47.47. BCE has a one year low of $43.03 and a one year high of $49.58.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $6.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.34 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.85% and a net margin of 12.84%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.89 EPS. Research analysts expect that BCE will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 16th will be given a dividend of $0.6267 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 13th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.16%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is 91.29%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of BCE by 57.7% during the 3rd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 155.3% during the 3rd quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 697 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,000 after purchasing an additional 424 shares during the last quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. bought a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter valued at about $32,000. Wealth Alliance bought a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter valued at about $71,000. Finally, Sugarloaf Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter valued at about $41,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 45.07% of the company’s stock.

About BCE

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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