Great Lakes Retirement Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor acquired 9,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $423,000.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. grew its position in BCE by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. now owns 8,305,338 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $384,952,000 after purchasing an additional 325,345 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of BCE by 3.6% during the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 7,813,386 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $361,989,000 after buying an additional 272,846 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of BCE by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 4,497,012 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $208,440,000 after buying an additional 104,414 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,784,613 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $175,417,000 after acquiring an additional 125,894 shares during the period. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 22.1% in the 4th quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,973,888 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $91,489,000 after acquiring an additional 356,959 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.66% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts have commented on BCE shares. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research report on Wednesday. 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 note on Wednesday, March 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut BCE from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.48.
Shares of BCE stock opened at $37.69 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $31.69 billion, a PE ratio of 14.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.15 and a beta of 0.45. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $44.53 and a 200 day moving average price of $46.91. BCE Inc. has a 1 year low of $31.66 and a 1 year high of $49.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.52.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $6.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.34 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.89% and a net margin of 12.84%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that BCE Inc. will post 2.7 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 15th. Investors of record on Monday, March 16th will be given a dividend of $0.6267 per share. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 94.32%.
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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