Shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the ten research firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, four have assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $57.25.

BCE has been the subject of a number of research reports. BidaskClub raised BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Barclays PLC increased their target price on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Argus initiated coverage on BCE in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. They set a “hold” rating for the company.

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BCE (NYSE BCE) traded up 1.03% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $47.95. 511,477 shares of the company traded hands. BCE has a one year low of $41.83 and a one year high of $48.27. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $47.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $45.50. The company has a market capitalization of $43.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.52 and a beta of 0.35.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.575 per share. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 94.26%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,964 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $133,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. WFG Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $203,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $131,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC now owns 7,206 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $326,000 after acquiring an additional 34 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tdam USA Inc. grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Tdam USA Inc. now owns 11,787 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $530,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. 42.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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