JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Monday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have $60.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Barclays reissued a buy rating on shares of NXP Semiconductors in a research note on Sunday, May 5th. Citigroup lowered BCE from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating on shares of Brookfield Asset Management in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Desjardins boosted their price objective on Stella-Jones from C$50.00 to C$54.00 in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, TD Securities boosted their price objective on Dream Industrial Real Estate Invest Trst from C$13.00 to C$13.50 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.06.

Shares of BCE opened at $46.31 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.55 and a quick ratio of 0.51. BCE has a one year low of $38.75 and a one year high of $47.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $41.47 billion, a PE ratio of 17.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.00 and a beta of 0.41. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.65.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58. BCE had a return on equity of 18.66% and a net margin of 12.56%. The firm had revenue of $5.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.80 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that BCE will post 2.63 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a $0.592 dividend. This represents a $2.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 13th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is 87.45%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BCE. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of BCE by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 17,747,576 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $788,308,000 after purchasing an additional 274,189 shares during the period. FIL Ltd lifted its position in BCE by 11.8% during the 1st quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 14,041,935 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $623,526,000 after acquiring an additional 1,487,023 shares during the period. 1832 Asset Management L.P. lifted its position in BCE by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 12,433,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $491,709,000 after acquiring an additional 890,742 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in BCE by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 7,931,450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $350,868,000 after acquiring an additional 149,627 shares during the period. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its position in BCE by 18.1% during the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 4,008,367 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $177,929,000 after acquiring an additional 614,130 shares during the period. 43.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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. 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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