BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Equities researchers at Cormark issued their Q4 2017 EPS estimates for BCE in a report released on Wednesday. Cormark analyst D. Mcfadgen anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings of $0.60 per share for the quarter.

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Barclays raised their price objective on BCE from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Desjardins downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.00.

Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) opened at $44.39 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $39,970.00, a PE ratio of 17.27, a P/E/G ratio of 4.58 and a beta of 0.30. BCE has a 52-week low of $42.44 and a 52-week high of $49.06.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.96 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.96 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.94% and a net margin of 12.25%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.76 EPS.

BCE declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the utilities provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.601 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.42%. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 89.49%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $116,000. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $190,000. Howland Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $202,000. WFG Advisors LP boosted its holdings in BCE by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $203,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares during the period. Finally, Cedar Hill Associates LLC purchased a new position in BCE during the 3rd quarter valued at about $225,000. Institutional investors own 44.62% of the company’s stock.

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About BCE

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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