HighTower Advisors LLC lessened its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 2.8% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 47,351 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,383 shares during the quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC’s holdings in BCE were worth $1,918,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of BCE. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of BCE by 34.7% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 718,508 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $31,904,000 after purchasing an additional 185,075 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. lifted its stake in shares of BCE by 81.3% during the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 4,642 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $215,000 after purchasing an additional 2,082 shares during the period. Gideon Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of BCE by 177.9% during the 4th quarter. Gideon Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 13,916 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $645,000 after purchasing an additional 8,908 shares during the period. Landscape Capital Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of BCE in the 4th quarter worth $421,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of BCE by 5.1% in the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,455,126 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $67,445,000 after buying an additional 70,521 shares during the period. 45.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

BCE has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $43.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, May 29th. CIBC cut their target price on BCE from $63.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 8th. Scotiabank cut their target price on BCE from $64.50 to $63.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 30th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price target (down from $64.00) on shares of BCE in a report on Wednesday, March 18th. Finally, UBS Group lowered their price target on BCE from $62.00 to $58.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.63.

Shares of BCE stock opened at $41.59 on Tuesday. The business has a 50-day moving average of $41.41 and a 200-day moving average of $43.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.83. The company has a market capitalization of $36.94 billion, a PE ratio of 16.77, a P/E/G ratio of 4.00 and a beta of 0.38. BCE Inc. has a 1-year low of $31.66 and a 1-year high of $49.58.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.24. The company had revenue of $5.68 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.65 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.24% and a net margin of 12.63%. The company’s revenue was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that BCE Inc. will post 2.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Investors of record on Monday, June 15th will be paid a $0.5883 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 12th. This represents a $2.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.66%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 92.80%.

About BCE

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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