Steinberg Global Asset Management increased its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 17.4% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 107,746 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 15,980 shares during the period. Steinberg Global Asset Management’s holdings in BCE were worth $4,637,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of BCE. Viking Fund Management LLC boosted its position in BCE by 10.0% in the first quarter. Viking Fund Management LLC now owns 55,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,441,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares in the last quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV acquired a new position in BCE in the first quarter valued at about $2,703,000. Truvestments Capital LLC acquired a new position in BCE in the first quarter valued at about $59,000. Chemung Canal Trust Co. acquired a new position in BCE in the first quarter valued at about $5,658,000. Finally, KAMES CAPITAL plc acquired a new position in BCE in the first quarter valued at about $1,752,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.90% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BMO Capital Markets restated an “average” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, April 5th. Argus upgraded shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, National Bank Financial lowered shares of BCE from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $50.25.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. BCE had a net margin of 12.30% and a return on equity of 18.87%. The company had revenue of $6.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.19 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.82 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that BCE Inc. will post 2.66 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.604 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.33%. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 87.82%.
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BCE Company Profile
BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers integrated digital wireless voice and data communications products and services.
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