First Bank & Trust increased its position in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 1.0% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 43,377 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 441 shares during the period. BCE accounts for about 1.6% of First Bank & Trust’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 14th biggest holding. First Bank & Trust’s holdings in BCE were worth $1,972,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of BCE. FIL Ltd grew its stake in BCE by 11.8% in the first quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 14,041,935 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $623,526,000 after purchasing an additional 1,487,023 shares in the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp bought a new position in BCE in the first quarter worth about $63,915,000. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in BCE by 162.0% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,074,857 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $47,713,000 after acquiring an additional 664,567 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in BCE by 18.1% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 4,008,367 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $177,929,000 after acquiring an additional 614,130 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in BCE by 73.6% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,430,582 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $63,544,000 after acquiring an additional 606,531 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.72% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Barclays reissued an “average” rating and issued a $66.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Sunday, May 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of BCE from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 8th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “average” rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 30th. Finally, TD Securities raised shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.38 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. BCE presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.90.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 12.51%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that BCE Inc. will post 2.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.601 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.25%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. BCE’s payout ratio is 87.45%.
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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