Aviance Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 10.4% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 83,314 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,856 shares during the period. Aviance Capital Management LLC’s holdings in BCE were worth $4,000,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in BCE by 35.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,062,333 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $92,888,000 after purchasing an additional 543,921 shares in the last quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC increased its holdings in BCE by 6.5% during the 4th quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC now owns 61,496 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,952,000 after purchasing an additional 3,729 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Capital LP increased its holdings in BCE by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Guardian Capital LP now owns 1,350,728 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $63,117,000 after purchasing an additional 24,427 shares in the last quarter. MHI Funds LLC bought a new position in BCE during the 4th quarter worth about $2,760,000. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. increased its holdings in BCE by 39.4% during the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 6,260,116 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $251,237,000 after purchasing an additional 1,768,100 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.62% of the company’s stock.

BCE has been the subject of a number of research reports. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of BCE from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Desjardins downgraded shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.00.

BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) opened at $44.48 on Thursday. BCE Inc. has a one year low of $42.44 and a one year high of $49.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 0.43. The company has a market cap of $40,078.00, a PE ratio of 18.53, a PEG ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.30.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.01. BCE had a net margin of 12.25% and a return on equity of 19.85%. The company had revenue of $5.96 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.96 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.76 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that BCE Inc. will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current year.

BCE announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to repurchase $175.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the utilities provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board 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 paid a $0.601 dividend. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.40%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 95.83%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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