BCE Inc. (BCE) Receives New Coverage from Analysts at Barclays PLC

Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage set an “overweight” rating and a $47.00 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 9.02% from the stock’s current price.

BCE has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 10th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective (down from $61.00) on shares of BCE in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Desjardins upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 21st. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, February 3rd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.40.

Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) opened at 43.11 on Tuesday. BCE has a 52-week low of $41.83 and a 52-week high of $49.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.47 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $44.02 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.51.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.30 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 23.11% and a net margin of 13.73%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.72 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that BCE will post $2.65 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, April 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.5469 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 13th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. This represents a $2.19 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.07%. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 81.53%.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in BCE by 17.1% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,979,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,574,000 after buying an additional 435,088 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in BCE by 14.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,918,590 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,916,000 after buying an additional 496,484 shares in the last quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. raised its stake in BCE by 17.1% in the third quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. now owns 401,768 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,523,000 after buying an additional 58,586 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its stake in BCE by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 91,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,064,000 after buying an additional 3,173 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baskin Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in BCE by 0.8% in the third quarter. Baskin Financial Services Inc. now owns 324,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,967,000 after buying an additional 2,724 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 43.98% of the company’s stock.

About BCE

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BCE

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