BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $51.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.79% from the stock’s previous close.
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.”
Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Desjardins reissued a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on BCE from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $66.00 price target (up from $62.00) on shares of BCE in a research report on Sunday, August 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. BCE has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.30.
Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) traded down 0.26% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $45.50. The company had a trading volume of 332,008 shares. The firm has a market cap of $39.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.99 and a beta of 0.40. BCE has a one year low of $35.96 and a one year high of $49.03. The company’s 50 day moving average is $46.87 and its 200 day moving average is $46.74.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.34 billion for 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%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that BCE will post $2.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid 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 4.56%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 88.14%.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BCE. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services increased its stake in shares of BCE by 2.3% in the third quarter. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services now owns 10,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after buying an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. increased its stake in shares of BCE by 9.2% in the third quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 87,844 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,057,000 after buying an additional 7,408 shares during the last quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the third quarter valued at $10,151,000. Evercore Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of BCE by 33.3% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,706 shares of the company’s stock valued at $412,000 after buying an additional 2,175 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cowen Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the second quarter valued at $1,640,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.48% of the company’s stock.
BCE Company Profile
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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