Baskin Financial Services Inc. lifted its position in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 0.1% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 345,904 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 354 shares during the quarter. BCE comprises 2.9% of Baskin Financial Services Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 17th largest position. Baskin Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in BCE were worth $15,359,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in BCE by 25.5% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 401,122 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,253,000 after acquiring an additional 81,511 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in BCE by 35.7% during the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 24,245 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $982,000 after acquiring an additional 6,376 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in BCE by 6.5% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,831,195 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $74,135,000 after acquiring an additional 111,191 shares in the last quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its position in BCE by 70.8% during the third quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 11,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $449,000 after acquiring an additional 4,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Resources Management Corp CT ADV purchased a new position in BCE during the third quarter valued at approximately $827,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.90% of the company’s stock.

BCE traded down $0.01 during trading on Monday, hitting $45.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 593,542 shares, compared to its average volume of 902,398. The company has a current ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. BCE Inc. has a twelve month low of $38.75 and a twelve month high of $45.65. The firm has a market cap of $40.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.74, a PEG ratio of 4.85 and a beta of 0.46.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 18.87% and a net margin of 12.30%. The company had revenue of $6.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.19 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.82 earnings per share. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that BCE Inc. will post 2.66 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.604 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.33%. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 87.82%.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on BCE. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “average” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a report on Friday, April 5th. Argus raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, National Bank Financial lowered BCE from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, January 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $50.25.

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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. The company operates through three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers integrated digital wireless voice and data communications products and services.

Further Reading: Dividend

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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