BCE, Inc. (BCE) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “BCE posted mixed third-quarter 2017 financial results. We are impressed with BCE's decision to invest $854 million, which will boost its fiber-optics network suite and generate higher revenues by bringing in customers. Bell Canada’s data center and cloud computing operations are also likely to get a boost with the integration of MTS’ existing data center in Winnipeg. Buyout of Q9 Networks boosts BCE's cloud suite.  Deployment of Gigabit Fibe, 4G LTE mobile networks, upcoming 5G networks, IP phone services and post-paid businesses should help the company gain customers. Over the past three months, the stock price grew 3.3% as against the industry's 5.3% loss. On the flip side, BCE continues to struggle with stringent regulatory norms, losses in network access services lines, price competition, labor union issues, operational risks and construction delays.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on BCE. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a hold rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of BCE in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. National Bank Financial upgraded shares of BCE from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of BCE from $62.00 to $60.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on shares of BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of BCE from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $56.60.

Shares of BCE (BCE) traded down $0.05 on Thursday, hitting $48.17. 167,144 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 674,416. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 0.51 and a quick ratio of 0.47. The stock has a market cap of $43,390.00, a P/E ratio of 18.69, a PEG ratio of 5.22 and a beta of 0.35. BCE has a 1-year low of $41.83 and a 1-year high of $48.40.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.558 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $2.23 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.63%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 90.20%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in BCE by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC increased its holdings in BCE by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,964 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. AT Bancorp purchased a new position in BCE during the 2nd quarter valued at about $149,000. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $190,000. Finally, Howland Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $202,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 42.60% of the company’s stock.

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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