Barclays Boosts BCE (BCE) Price Target to $52.00

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) had its price objective hoisted by Barclays from $51.00 to $52.00 in a research note released on Friday. Barclays currently has an overweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BCE from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Desjardins lowered shares of BCE from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of BCE in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. They issued a buy rating and a $54.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, National Bank Financial upgraded shares of BCE from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. BCE presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $56.00.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) traded down $0.02 during trading on Friday, hitting $44.39. 1,210,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 943,852. BCE has a fifty-two week low of $42.44 and a fifty-two week high of $49.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. The company has a market cap of $39,970.00, a P/E ratio of 17.27, a P/E/G ratio of 4.58 and a beta of 0.30.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.01. BCE had a net margin of 12.25% and a return on equity of 19.94%. The business had revenue of $5.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.76 EPS. BCE’s revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that BCE will post 2.77 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.601 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.42%. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 89.49%.

BCE announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase $175.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the utilities provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new stake in BCE in the 3rd quarter worth $116,000. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new stake in BCE in the 3rd quarter worth $190,000. Howland Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in BCE in the 3rd quarter worth $202,000. WFG Advisors LP grew its position 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Cedar Hill Associates LLC acquired a new stake in BCE in the 3rd quarter worth $225,000. Institutional investors own 44.62% of the company’s stock.

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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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