Cetera Investment Advisers lowered its stake in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 15.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,582 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,884 shares during the quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers’ holdings in BCE were worth $506,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in BCE by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $203,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in BCE by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 12,614 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in BCE by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 64,615 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,910,000 after purchasing an additional 1,099 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 102,041 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,778,000 after purchasing an additional 1,137 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AE Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in BCE by 5.6% in the 4th quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 22,077 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,060,000 after purchasing an additional 1,180 shares in the last quarter. 44.62% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
BCE has been the subject of a number of research reports. Barclays raised their price objective on BCE from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Bank of America initiated coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.00.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.85% and a net margin of 12.25%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.76 EPS. equities analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.601 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.40%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 95.83%.
BCE announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the utilities provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
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BCE Company Profile
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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