Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its stake in shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 3,184.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,540,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,493,348 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s holdings in BCE were worth $69,262,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its position in BCE by 0.7% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 46,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,051,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC increased its position in BCE by 63.9% in the first quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC now owns 4,762 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 1,857 shares in the last quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in BCE by 28.9% in the first quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,417,270 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $187,289,000 after buying an additional 541,437 shares in the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in BCE during the first quarter valued at $799,000. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors purchased a new position in BCE during the first quarter valued at $551,000. 43.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

BCE, Inc. (BCE) opened at 46.14 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $41.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.87 and a beta of 0.36. BCE, Inc. has a 12 month low of $41.83 and a 12 month high of $49.03. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $44.94.

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 net margin of 12.85% and a return on equity of 21.08%. The company had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.94 EPS. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that BCE, Inc. will post $2.65 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.575 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.98%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 87.30%.

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Several equities analysts have weighed in on BCE shares. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. BidaskClub raised BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 target price on BCE and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, Argus started coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.80.

About BCE

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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