Man Group plc decreased its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 15.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 828,807 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 146,589 shares during the quarter. Man Group plc owned about 0.09% of BCE worth $38,441,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. B. Riley Wealth Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of BCE by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. B. Riley Wealth Management Inc. now owns 4,406 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $204,000 after buying an additional 220 shares in the last quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 15.3% in the 4th quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC now owns 2,288 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 304 shares in the last quarter. Strategic Investment Advisors MI raised its holdings in shares of BCE by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. Strategic Investment Advisors MI now owns 9,706 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $450,000 after acquiring an additional 323 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of BCE by 4.3% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 8,108 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $380,000 after acquiring an additional 335 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hilltop Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of BCE by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 21,091 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $977,000 after acquiring an additional 343 shares during the last quarter. 44.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

BCE has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price objective (down from $64.00) on shares of BCE in a research report on Wednesday, March 18th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of BCE from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 17th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research note on Wednesday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. BCE has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.48.

BCE opened at $37.69 on Thursday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $44.53 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.91. BCE Inc. has a 12-month low of $31.66 and a 12-month high of $49.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. The stock has a market capitalization of $31.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.78, a PEG ratio of 3.15 and a beta of 0.45.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $6.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.34 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.89% and a net margin of 12.84%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post 2.7 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 15th. Investors of record on Monday, March 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.6267 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 13th. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.65%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 94.32%.

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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