Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 8.5% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 3,475 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 271 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co.’s holdings in BCE were worth $154,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in BCE. Norges Bank purchased a new position in BCE during the 4th quarter worth $115,933,000. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. grew its stake in BCE by 184.2% during the 4th quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 3,993,028 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $157,669,000 after buying an additional 2,588,027 shares during the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp purchased a new position in BCE during the 1st quarter worth $63,915,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its stake in BCE by 14.6% during the 4th quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 7,781,823 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $307,882,000 after buying an additional 988,906 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 1832 Asset Management L.P. grew its stake in BCE by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 12,433,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $491,709,000 after buying an additional 890,742 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.76% of the company’s stock.
BCE stock traded up $0.28 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $46.99. 19,425 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 819,024. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.55. The company has a market cap of $42.12 billion, a PE ratio of 17.33, a PEG ratio of 5.12 and a beta of 0.41. BCE Inc. has a 1 year low of $38.75 and a 1 year high of $47.14.
The company also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.592 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th. This is an increase from BCE’s previous dividend of $0.56. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 87.82%.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on BCE shares. Argus upgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 8th. BMO Capital Markets restated an “average” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of BCE in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Citigroup downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Desjardins downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Barclays reiterated an “average” rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of BCE in a research note on Sunday, May 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. BCE presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.00.
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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. 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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